New Books

Book Fair Day by Lynn Plourde

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–Fans of Plourde’s School Picture Day (2002), Teacher Appreciation Day (2003), and Pajama Day (2005, all Dutton) will recognize many old friends in this humorous episode. Here, Dewey Booker is so excited about Book Fair Day that he wheels his wagon to school to carry home all of his purchases. When he learns that his class is not scheduled to visit the fair until the end of the day, he devises a number of schemes to get to the library before the books are sold out. In one determined attempt, he disguises himself as a kindergartner by walking on his knees. Each plan is stymied by his teacher, Mrs. Shepherd, and Mr. Opus, the school librarian. Dewey’s day ends happily when he realizes that both his teacher and Mr. Opus are as eager as he is to get the right books into his hands. Plays on words related to books and reading abound. Wickstrom’s colorful cartoon illustrations capture the zaniness of the boy’s antics. Readers who love a good story as much as Dewey does are in for a treat.–Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Wild About Books by Judy Sierra

Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. In this rollicking story, librarian Molly McGrew accidentally drives her bookmobile into the zoo, and then the fun begins! The animals draw close to listen to a Dr. Seuss story, and soon they begin stampeding “to learn all about this new something called reading.” Many picture-book authors who try their hands at rhyme have less-than-stellar results. Here, the best part of the book is Sierra’s handy way with a rhyming text that not only scans properly but also is both clever and full of images that will amuse children (“Tasmanian devils found books so exciting / That soon they had given up fighting for writing”). The wild animal goings-on offer illustrator Brown an opportunity to get away from his vaguely aardvarklike Arthur and create some real animals–in fact, about every animal one can think of. All the slaphappy art fits nicely into double-page spreads that allow the energetic action room to breathe. That’s good because there are tons of things to look at, all in sunny colors. Not only are the animals reading books but they are also hugging them, licking the pictures off the pages, and trying their “hands” at writing. A wonderful advertisement for the joys of a literary life. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

From Amazon.com:

“In novel after novel, Lisa Scottoline has proven herself a master of stories that combine familial love ― especially that of mothers for their children ― with nail-biting stories of spirited everywomen bent on finding the truth. Her new novel, Most Wanted, demonstrates again her skill with this kind of domestic suspense tale.” – The Washington Post

“This is a potboiler of a book, crammed full of agonizing choices confronting appealing, relatable characters. Scottoline has penned more hardboiled tales, but never one as heartfelt and emotionally raw, raising her craft to the level of Judith Guest and Alice Hoffman. Most Wantedis a great thriller and a gut-wrenching foray into visceral angst that is not to be missed.” – The Providence Journal

Flesh and Blood: a Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell

From Amazon.com:  It’s Dr. Kay Scarpetta’s birthday, and she’s about to head to Miami for a vacation with Benton Wesley, her FBI profiler husband, when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their Cambridge house. Is this a kids’ game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Her cellphone rings, and Detective Pete Marino tells her there’s been a homicide five minutes away. A high school music teacher has been shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. No one has heard or seen a thing.

The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Aviator’s Wife returns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.
“This moving fictionalization brings the whole cast of characters back to vivid life. Gossipy and fun, it’s also a nuanced look at the beauty and cruelty of a rarefied, bygone world.”People

“The era and the sordid details come back to life in this jewel of a novel.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“A catty, juicy read that’s like a three-martini lunch.”USA Today

“[Captures] the mesmerizing sparkle and scandal of New York high society in the 1950s.”Chicago Tribune

From Amazon.com

Killing Maine by Mike Bond

First Prize for Fiction – 2015 New England Book Festival

. . . cold, rugged Maine becomes a hot bed of intrigue, murder, and greed, making it difficult for the residents, who love the land and this beautiful state, to continue to live the lives that they have chosen. Pono Hawkins returns to rescue his Special Forces buddy who is wrongly accused of murdering a prominent environmentalist Ronnie Dalt.

Unknown killers stalk Pono as he tries to unravel Ronnie’s death. Nothing is certain, no one can be trusted, no place is safe. There’s a million square miles of wildlands out there to hide a man’s body. And with a rap sheet that includes two jail sentences, Pono is the number one target of every cop in the state.

“Another stellar ride from Bond.” – Kirkus – from Amazon.com

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

From Amazon.com:

I wish I could give this one more than five stars. The Blind Assassin is a fantastic, fabulous novel and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Margaret Atwoood has written a terrific story told in such a way that the reader will always be kept guessing as to what the true “truth” is. It is a mystery, with a death, but it is not a “mystery novel” as we come to expect. The Blind Assassin is the story of two sisters: Laura and Iris Chase. Laura died in what may or may not have been a suicidal car crash in 1945. Iris tells the story of her family and the events leading up to Laura’s death, reflecting in the present on the events of the past. What is so fascinating about The Blind Assassin is that things are not always what they seem, but there are layers upon layers of story, of truth.

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. An international hit, this bold seafaring epic spans 100 years in the lives of the men and women from a small town on an island off the Danish coast. Starting with the war between Germany and Denmark in 1848 and continuing through WWII, the men of Marstal sail, fight, trade, and die at sea while the women raise their children and wait for their husbands’ and sons’ uncertain return. The story loosely follows one family, the Madsens, beginning with the legendary Laurids Madsen, “best known for having single-handedly started a war,” and then his son, Albert, and a boy named Knud Erik, whom Albert takes under his wing. From adventures on the storm-ravaged seas and in exotic lands, to battles in town over the shipping industry and family life, dozens of stories coalesce into an odyssey taut with action and drama and suffused with enough heart to satisfy readers who want more than the breakneck thrills of ships battling the elements. By the time readers turn the final page, they will have come to intimately know this town and its sailors who tear out across an unforgiving sea.

Ed King by David Guterson

Seattle Times Best Book of the Year

In Seattle of 1962, Walter Cousins, a mild-mannered actuary takes a risk of his own and makes the biggest error of his life: He sleeps with Diane Burroughs, the sexy, not-quite-legal British au pair who’s taking care of his children for the summer. When Diane becomes pregnant and leaves their baby on a doorstep, it sets in motion a tragedy of epic proportions. The orphaned child, adopted by an adoring family and named Edward Aaron King, grows up to become a billionaire Internet tycoon and an international celebrity—the “King of Search”—who unknowingly, but inexorably, hurtles through life toward a fate he may have no way of reversing.

Sweeping, propulsive, and darkly humorous, Ed King re-imagines one of the world’s greatest tragedies—Oedipus Rex—for our own era, bringing contemporary urgency to a tale that still has the power to shock and inform.  Amazon.com review

Monkey Business by Wallace Edwards

From Publishers Weekly

As he did in Alphabeasts, Wallace pairs deadpan text with multilayered illustrations that are at once humorous and absurd, likely to elicit grins from both adults and children. His latest title focuses on idioms (a definition of the term appears on the first page), with a cast of anthropomorphic animals set in bizarre situations. All the scenes make jokes that should have easy kid appeal. Owen, the literal “bull in a china shop,” unconsciously manages to entwine his horns, tail and cane around several ceramic pieces (“Not again,” he sighs). A walrus who “had no intention of sharing his cupcake” sports a candy cane in place of a tusk (a “real sweet tooth”). Attentive readers can also spot a monkey hidden in each scene—these visual tricks and other hide and seek-type games echo Graeme Base’s works.