For those Kindle readers who, like me, read for entertainment, scanning the book reviews in People magazine is good way to check out new people-related books - celebrity bios, popular novels, absorbing nonfiction - just hitting bookstore shelves. Featured in the May 7th issue of People:
Waiting for Sunrise, by William Boyd. Harper, 2012. Print Length: 373 p. NOVEL. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (47 reviews). People's slant: "...effortlessly combines historical detail with a sexy, galloping narrative that proves irresistible." - Helen Rogan. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Vienna. 1913. It is a fine day in August when Lysander Rief, a young English actor, walks through the city to his first appointment with the eminent psychiatrist, Dr. Bensimon. Sitting in the waiting room he is anxiously pondering the nature of his problem when an extraordinary woman enters. She is clearly in distress, but Lysander is immediately drawn to her strange, hazel eyes and her unusual, intense beauty.
London, 1914. War is stirring, and events in Vienna have caught up with Lysander. Unable to live an ordinary life, he is plunged into the dangerous theatre of wartime intelligence - a world of sex, scandal and spies, where lines of truth and deception blur with every waking day. Lysander must now discover the key to a secret code which is threatening Britain's safety, and use all his skills to keep the murky world of suspicion and betrayal from invading every corner of his life. Moving from Vienna to London's west end, the battlefields of France and hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a feverish and mesmerising journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller and a literary tour de force." - William Boyd's website.
Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, by Anna Quindlen. Random House, 2012. Print Length: 209 p. MEMOIR. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (48 reviews). People's slant: "It's familiar terrain, but some of her observations will have you smiling in solidarity." - Helen Rogan. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"A humorous, sage memoir from the Pulitzer winner and acclaimed novelist. Like having an older, wiser sister or favorite aunt over for a cup of tea, Quindlen's...latest book is full of the counsel and ruminations many of us wish we could learn young. The death of her mother from cancer when she was 19 had a profound effect on the author, instilling in her the certainty that 'life was short, and therefore it made [her] both driven and joyful' and happy to have 'the privilege of aging.' In her sincere and amusing style, the author reflects on feminism, raising her children, marriage and menopause. She muses on the perception of youth and her own changing body image... More threads on which the author meditates in this purposeful book: childbirth, gender issues, the joy of solitude, the difference between being alone and being lonely, retirement and religion. A graceful look at growing older from a wise and accomplished writer" - Kirkus Reviews.
The Gods of Gotham, by Lyndsay Faye. Putman, 2012. Print Length: 429 p. THRILLER. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (34 reviews). People's slant: "...Gaye's taut, intelligent thriller mesmerizes." - Richard Eisenberg. Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"Set in 1845 New York City, Faye’s knockout first in a new series improves on her impressive debut, Dust and Shadow (2009), which pitted Sherlock Holmes against Jack the Ripper. As Irish immigrants pour into the city, fleeing the potato famine in their homeland, Timothy Wilde, a 27-year-old former bartender, adjusts to life as a policeman in New York’s newly formed police force. As one of the first to wear the copper star, Wilde soon discovers more than one unwelcome surprise. In short order on his lower Manhattan beat, he runs across an infanticide and the body of a 12-year-old Irish boy whose spleen has been removed. The investigation the novice detective launches into the boy’s murder brings him deep into the heart of human darkness. Vivid period details, fully formed characters, and a blockbuster of a twisty plot put Faye in a class with Caleb Carr." - Publishers Weekly.
These Girls, by Sarah Pekkanen. Washington Square Press, 2012. Print Length: 340 p. NOVEL. Amazon customer rating: 4 1/2 stars (21 reviews). People's slant: "...doesn't tread new ground, but it's a pleasure." - Lisa Kay Greissinger. Text-to-Speech: Disabled.
"Cate, Renee, and Abby have come to New York for very different reasons, and in a bustling city of millions, they are linked together through circumstance and chance. Cate has just been named the features editor of Gloss, a high-end lifestyle magazine. It’s a professional coup, but her new job comes with more complications than Cate ever anticipated. Her roommate Renee will do anything to nab the plum job of beauty editor at Gloss. But snide comments about Renee’s weight send her into an emotional tailspin. Soon she is taking black market diet pills...Then there’s Abby, whom they take in as a third roommate. Once a joyful graduate student working as a nanny part time, she abruptly fled a seemingly happy life in the D.C. suburbs. No one knows what shattered Abby - or why she left everything she once loved behind. Pekkanen’s most compelling, true-to-life novel yet tells the story of three very different women as they navigate the complications of careers and love..." - Publisher.
My Two Moms: Lessons of Love, Strength, and What Makes a Family, by Zach Wahls. Gotham Books, 2012. Print Length: 256 p. MEMOIR. Amazon customer rating: 4 stars (4 reviews). Text-to-Speech: Enabled.
"On January 31, 2011, Zach Wahls addressed the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in a public forum regarding full marriage equality. The nineteen-year-old son of a same-sex couple, Wahls proudly proclaimed, 'The sexual orientation of my parents has had zero effect on the content of my character.' Hours later, his speech was posted on YouTube, where it went viral, quickly receiving more than two million views. By the end of the week, everyone knew his name and wanted to hear more from the boy with two moms. Same-sex marriage will be a major - possibly the defining - issue in this year’s election cycle, and Wahls speaks to that, but also to a broader issue. Sure, he’s handsome and athletic, an environmental engineering student, and an Eagle Scout. Yet, growing up with two moms, he knows what it’s like to feel different and to fear being made fun of or worse. In the inspirational spirit of It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller, My Two Moms also delivers a reassuring message to same-sex couples, their kids, and anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider: You are not alone." - Publisher.
Note to readers: I am no longer listing prices for books mentioned in The Kindle Reader as prices can vary literally from one day to the next. Please follow the links to the individual books to check the current price.