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by Ward Just A MASTERPIECE! The brilliant novelist Ward Just’s 18th novel is just that — A MASTERPIECE! Harry Sanders is a low-level, naive diplomat working in the U. S. Embassy in exotic Saigon in the early 1960s who is duped into a secret, unsanctioned negotiation with the North Vietnamese. After that debacle, Harry is forced to follow various global postings for the rest of his career, but is forever an “American romantic,” an idealist, honoring the function of international diplomacy and duplicity, and having faith that such actions can indeed change the world. Duty and loyalty, playing the career game, but always wondering what might have happened if he made one or two different choices in his life. But it is the startling music of its language that truly sets American Romantic apart. I have underlined the entire book!
The Steady Running of The Hour
by Justin Go A DEBUT NOVEL! In this mesmerizing debut a young American discovers he may be heir to the unclaimed estate of an English World War I officer, which launches him on a quest across Europe to uncover the elusive truth. Upon graduation, Tristan Campbell receives a letter delivered by special courier to his apartment in San Francisco from a solicitor in London — and so the adventure begins! We travel from London archives to Somme battlefields to Iceland, as Tristan pieces together the story of a forbidden affair set against the tumult of World War I and the pioneer expeditions to Mount Everest. A fabulous sweeping saga that signals the arrival of a stunningly talented author. I could not turn the pages fast enough! The clock is running!
The Secret Life of Violet Grant
by Beatriz Williams Greenwich author Beatriz Williams takes secrets to a whole new level and flirts with our minds as we dance with Violet in 1914 and Vivian in 1964. The brilliant maze Beatriz has created keeps us running in circles, loving the characters, the repartee, and all the twists and turns. “Darling, she was my sister. My older sister, Violet. A scientist. She murdered her husband in Berlin in 1914 and ran off with her lover and nobody’s heard from her since.” AHH! Oh so clever, oh so devious, oh so delightful! Congratulations, Beatriz! The Secret Life of Violet Grant will be the great escape read of summer 2014 and will have you guessing until the very last page!
$27.00 And come meet Beatriz on Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m. at Greenwich Library!
Nightlights: Stories for You to Read
to Your Child To Encourage Calm,
Confidence and Creativity
Story Editor: Anne Civardi. Storytellers: Kate Perry, Joyce Dunbar, Louisa Somerville Introduced by David Fontana Read-out-loud heaven! First published in 2003, Nightlights is back in print! How exciting! Twenty stories for any child between the ages of 4 to forever, each story beginning with your child taking the magic lantern down an Enchanted Path of storytelling and discovering a whole new world of imagination! Close your eyes and listen and imagine! Enter these magical worlds of sounds, of animals, of places, of people who love you. Where will your Enchanted Path take you tonight? Please ask to see Nightlights!
I am Amelia Earhart,
I am Abraham Lincoln,
I Am Rosa Parks
Written by Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
Author Brad Meltzer’s fabulous and important message is that ordinary people do change the world and we can all be heroes! HOORAY! But what makes a hero? This lively, fun illustrated biography series by author Brad Meltzer answers that question — one role model at a time! This summer of 2014 let’s read these biographies out loud to our precious children and remind them that we can all be heroes and ordinary people do change the world. Hooray to Brad Meltzer, illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos and to reading out loud forever!
I am Amelia Earhart
I am Abraham Lincoln
I Am Rosa Parks
LITERARY! THE EXILES RETURN
by Elisabeth de Waal Joan’s new love! Set in the ashes of postwar Vienna, this is a powerful, subtle novel of five exiles returning home 15 years after fleeing Hitler’s reign. Elisabeth de Waal (1899-1991) wrote poetry and five novels, including this never-before-published incisive and tragic tale. This is gorgeous literary fiction that is also autobiographical!
by Sue Miller Fiction that takes your breath away! Come to the small town of Pomeroy, N.H., where there are only small lives and people trying to put one foot in front of the other. There are also plenty of “arsonists” — all guilty of burning bridges, lives, loves and memories. Sue Miller is a gorgeous writer and this is her most accomplished novel.
by Lisa See Ruby, Helen, Grace are Asian showgirls in San Francisco who form three unlikely friendships as World War II explodes and then Pearl Harbor. The trap of race, paranoia, suspicion and profound prejudice all threaten to destroy their lives. There is no question this is Lisa See’s most powerful novel.
BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS
by Cristina Henriquez A dazzling, heartbreaking debut literary novel that gives voice to millions of Americans as it tells the story of the love between a Panamanian boy and a Mexican girl — teenagers living in an apartment block of immigrant families. Inspired by the true story of Cristina’s Panamanian father. Another powerful novel.
REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
by Bret Anthony Johnston DEBUT! I stood inside this novel and I was inside the hearts and minds of this beleaguered family. I felt for Dad Eric, Mom Laura, and teenage son Griffin, as for four years Griffin’s brother has been missing. And then, suddenly, he is found! More brave, daunting, gorgeous fiction.
BE SAFE I LOVE YOU
by Cara Hoffman I was crying as I finished this amazing, trenchant, courageous novel! You must meet Lauren, the star of Hoffman’s novel. Lauren has recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, which she opted for instead of going to college. Before she enlisted, Lauren was a classically trained singer and going places. Read this book, please!
GLORIOUS ESCAPES! EMBER ISLAND
by Kimberly Freeman The best kind of saga storytelling! Two women are separated by a century and by long-buried secrets buried in an Australian manor house. Author Kimberly Freeman beautifully weaves this journey of second chances, secrets and learning to trust your heart. Paperback!
WEDDING BEES: A Novel of Honey, Love and Manners
by Sarah-Kate Lynch I love this book! Every spring Sugar Wallace coaxes her sleepy honeybee queen out of the hive and lets her crawl around a treasured old map. Wherever the queen stops is their next destination, and this year it is New York City! Paperback only!
WHEN THE CYPRESS WHISPERS
by Yvette Manessis Corporon The daughter of Greek immigrants, and now a famous chef, Daphne is living the American dream but is sleepwalking through life. Her childhood summers were spent with her “yia-yia,” her Greek grandmother, on the beautiful Greek island of Erikousa, where she longs to return. Definitely your feel-good book!
by Elin Hilderbrand I smiled as I turned every page of this utterly delicious, utterly romantic, utterly wonderful novel. Nantucketer Dabney Kimball Beech has always had a gift for matchmaking, but when the only man who has ever owned her heart returns to Nantucket after 30 years, she suddenly needs a matchmaker of her own! I love Hilderbrand’s special kind of storytelling — so caring, so kind, with a big, big heart!
HAPPY SUMMER 2014!
Our Diane’s Books theme this summer of 2014 is our “always mantra” about reading together and out loud as a family!
As I said in our spring newsletter, book publishers continue to thrill us with glorious choices. In the arena of children’s and youngadult publishing, historical fiction and narrative non-fiction are some of the most recent exciting and expanding genres. History is coming alive! History that demands to be read together as a family. History that is meant to be discussed and pondered and not forgotten. History cloaked in wonder.
History is front and centre as we go to Chile and learn about its turbulent political times in On Butterfly Hill. Or when we travel back to the end of the Civil War in Brotherhood. Or when we read about the Holocaust and the importance of remembering in Prisoner B- 3087, one of the most powerful young-adult novels I have ever read and a journey that every family needs to take together. It is about remembering.
These great new offerings also take us exploring on one of the most dangerous journeys with teenager Jordan Romero. He is an American mountain climber who amazingly climbed Mount Everest at age 13, the youngest person ever. But Jordan didn’t stop there! No Summit Out Of Sight is his story about being the youngest person to climb all of the Seven Summits. Today, nearly 18 years old, Jordan is climbing the tallest peaks in each of the 50 states! How is that for inspiration?
Now that the winter of our discontent is but a welcome distant memory, I am throwing down the gauntlet: Read out loud to your children all summer and please include history and historical fiction. I know that David McCullough, our esteemed historian and friend, is cheering you on! David always told us: “History is alive!”
And we want to salute our non-fiction children’s guru Brianna Schneider, who recently celebrated her first anniversary as a Dazzling Diva! Talk to Brianna, a valuable member of our team!
LATE BREAKING NEWS! Our dear friend Beatriz Williams will be giving a reading and hosting a discussion at the Greenwich Library on Tuesday, July 15, at 7 p.m. Her new book The Secret Life of Violet Grant reviewed in this newsletter is simply dazzling! HAPPY READING EVERYONE! HAPPY READING OUT LOUD! AND, OF COURSE, HAPPY SUMMER!
LITERARY! THE TEN THOUSAND THINGS
by John Spurling Michael Allen, our intrepid reader, describes the writing from this British dramatist, novelist and art critic as, “like beautiful clothing worn to a special event.” The setting is China in the late 14th century as the Mongol yoke is being thrown off and a new generation of Chinese warlords fights for dominance and the Emperor’s Throne. Michael describes it as “an elegant, mindstretching piece of fine literature.”
DEBUTS! NIGHT HERON
by Adam Brookes The best spy story Michael has read this year! Michael writes: “Debut author Adam Brookes, a former China correspondent for the BBC, launches us into the parched throat escape of a convict and British spy from a remote, razor-wired Chinese labor camp after 20 years. Brookes weaves a bewildering web of multinational cyber-intrigue where power is measured not in megatons, but in data terabytes.”
I AM PILGRIM
by Brad Hayes An astonishing debut thriller, Pilgrim is the code name for a world-class, legendary secret agent. His adversary is a man known only to the reader as The Saracen. David Baldacci writes: “Simply one of the best suspense novels I’ve read in a long time.” Gordon could not agree more!
by Drew Chapman Hidden deep within the figures tracking the ups and downs of the stock market lies a terrifying truth: America is under attack! Garrett Reilly has a gift that has made him a rising star on Wall Street, but even he can’t explain why $200 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds are being sold off at an alarming rate.
FAVORITES! STEVE BERRY! THE LINCOLN MYTH
A new Cotton Malone adventure is always the best kind of summer read! Stellar thriller author Steve Berry wraps his latest around a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln and a political issue that is as explosive as it is timely — not only in Cotton Malone’s world, but in ours, too!
ALAN FURST! MIDNIGHT IN EUROPE
Another rave review from Michael! He writes: “This is 73-year-old Alan Furst’s 13th historical spy novel in the last 26 years and readers of his generation and genre will surely relish another visit to the elegant but vulnerable capitals of Europe as the Nazi darkness descends. Perfection!”
DAVID IGNATIUS! THE DIRECTOR
Graham Weber has been the director of the CIA for less than a week when a Swiss kid walks into an American consulate and says the agency has been hacked and he has a list of agents’ names to prove it. The ensuing mole-hunt is a maze of deception and double-dealing in a world where nothing and no one can be trusted. Michael calls it groundbreaking!
STEPHEN HUNTER! SNIPER’S HONOR
How does Stephen Hunter top his past Bob Lee Swagger adventures? How about with a sniper who is as deadly, as cunning, as Bob Lee, but who is also beautiful? The twist is that this sniper lived 70 years ago, and Mili Petrova is modeled after the very real female snipers used by the Russian military in World War II.
HISTORICAL FICTION! THE SMOKE AT DAWN
by Jeff Shaara The highly respected author of historical fiction continues his Civil War quartet! The third installment finds us in the summer of 1863 after the federal triumph at Vicksburg, which has wrested complete control of the vital Mississippi from the Confederacy.
NON-FICTION! THE GOOD SPY
by Kai Bird Michael’s non-fiction pick! And he writes: “The Good Spy is a history of the training and work of CIA operative Robert Ames, who died in the Beirut embassy bombing of April 1983. Written in a sparse reporting style by a Pulitzer winner, this is an authoritatively researched and instructive story of a good American who showed the way.”
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