The Age of Miracles
by Karen Thompson Walker
At first, it seemed like nothing had changed. Each day was a few minutes longer, but Julia’s parents still got up at went to work, Julia went to school, life continued.
But the turn of the Earth continued to slow, and no one knew why. No one ever knew why.
It started to affect gravity. Birds fell from the sky; eventually they all died. Clock time no longer matched sun time. Radiation from the sun intensified. Eventually a day became weeks long – weeks of freezing darkness followed by weeks of unceasing heat and light.
As the world falls apart around her, this beautifully written coming-of-age story focuses on the important things: family, relationships, love … life.
I’ve Got Your Number
by Sophie Kinsella
Poppy has a problem – more than one, actually. First, she’s lost her cell phone. And the phone she nicked (well, not exactly nicked – it was in the garbage bin, after all, isn’t that practically fate?) belongs to businessman Sam Roxton, and he wants it back now. And third and worst of all, she’s lost her engagement ring on the very same day her fiance’s parents are arriving.
Poppy is so busy juggling wedding plans, fielding the never-ending texts and calls coming in on her ‘borrowed’ phone, and keeping her left hand hidden from her fiance and his parents that she never notices that the surprise of her life is headed her way.
What we thought: sure, it’s a little far-fetched, but that’s why we think it makes a perfect summer stay-inside-out-of-the-heat read: fun, not too serious, and sure to make you smile. (And if you like this book, try the Shopaholic series by the same author!)
The Linen Queen
by Patricia Falvey
Like Emma Woodhouse or Scarlett O’Hara, Sheila McGee starts out as a character who’s hard to love.
It’s true, she’s had a rough life: abandoned by her father, neglected by her unstable mother, and trapped working long hours at the local mill while dreaming of a glamorous life in London or America… only to come home to fight off her uncle’s wandering hands. Is it any wonder Sheila can’t wait to shake the dust of Northern Ireland off her feet?
It’s World War II that provides the catalyst for change, as Sheila transforms from a girl who can’t wait to leave into a woman who finally realizes that home is where she’s been all along.
by Deborah Lawrenson
It’s a classic whirlwind romance: Eve instantly falls for the charming and handsome Dom when they meet on vacation in Switzerland. In short order she gives up her job as a translator and moves with him to a crumbling château in Provence, where they spend an idyllic summer living among the old stone walls and overgrown gardens, lazily enjoying all the sights and tastes and smells of French country life, deliriously happy and half-drunk on the scents of lavender and figs.
But as the summer fades, it’s clear that things aren’t always what they seem. Dom turns secretive and brooding, and Eve can’t get the specter of his beautiful ex-wife Rachel out of her mind. But Dom refuses to discuss Rachel, his silence turns Eve’s worry into suspicion. Strange things are happening in the house as well – a lantern appearing suddenly in the middle of a garden path, mysterious stains on the floor, a book that opens on its own.
And then they start finding the bodies.
Reminiscent of Rebecca or classic Hitchcock films, this is a lush gothic tale full of descriptions so evocative that it will have you tasting French wine on the tip of your tongue.
Tooth and Claw
By Jo Walton
What do you get when you take a Jane Austen-style Victorian novel of manners … and make the characters anthropomorphic dragons?
The only book I know that fits that description is Jo Walton’s inventive Tooth and Claw, where ladies of questionable reputation struggle to make their way in the world, fathers die leaving their children to fight over their inheritance, and sanctimonious parsons seek blushing brides.
Jo Walton has proven adept at many different genres – alternate history, fantasy, sci-fi, mystery – many times blending genres together in new and inventive ways. But no matter what type of book it is, her engaging writing style and way of turning something familiar on its head make her books well worth reading.
Also by Jo Walton: Among Others.
The American Heiress
by Daisy Goodwin
In this splendid gilded age novel, Miss Cora Cash transforms herself from a beautiful young American heiress, under the thumb of her domineering mother, into a regal Duchess. It’s a difficult transition: Cora doesn’t understand her husband’s withdrawn moods and secretive past, or his formidable mother’s devotion to tradition, or the unwritten rules of English society. Indeed, money can’t buy everything: can Cora figure out what’s important to her in time to save her marriage from unhappiness?
Reminiscent of Masterpiece Theater’s “Downton Abbey” or Anna Godbersen’s Luxe series, the rich detail and historical setting of The American Heiress has combined to create a gem of historical chick-lit.
By Jeffery Deaver
Bond, James Bond, has been nicely updated in this spy thriller. Although this Bond is in his thirties, a veteran of the Afghan war, and firmly attached to his specialized iPhone-like device (christened by Q branch as the iQphone), he is clearly recognizable as the Bond of old. And though the fast pace of this newest Bond adventure barely gives him time to seduce the ladies or enjoy his signature cocktail, he handles the constant action with his usual aplomb.
Bond’s mission is to protect the Realm – by any means necessary. When intelligence indicates that a mass killing is planned, Bond has less than a week to identify the mysterious perpetrator, infiltrate the organization, and stop the attack.
While the outcome is never really in question – this IS James Bond we’re talking about – the twists and turns it takes to get there will keep you on the edge of your seat.