Ever since she can remember, Amy Thomas has had two passions –– Paris and desserts. Happily, she was able to satisfy both desires in a two-year stint in Paris, writing advertising copy for Louis Vuitton. As she roamed the city, she became intimately acquainted with the many bakeries and chocolatiers that populate nearly every street.
“2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson
Science fiction brings with it an opportunity to experience imaginative new worlds. Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the best modern authors of the genre, and he is back with the first volume in an intriguing new trilogy. In “2312,” the solar system is fully colonized with quantum computers, making travel between planets and other habitats ridiculously speedy. Swan Er Hong is a former designer of galactic habitats who now mourns the death of her grandmother, Alex. It seems though Alex was involved in many things Swan never know about, and now two investigators have come to her home looking for important information Alex may have left behind.
“Paris, My Sweet: a Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)” by Amy Thomas
Ever since she can remember, Amy Thomas has had two passions –– Paris and desserts. Happily, she was able to satisfy both desires in a two-year stint in Paris, writing advertising copy for Louis Vuitton. As she roamed the city, she became intimately acquainted with the many bakeries and chocolatiers that populate nearly every street. Her memoir of that magical time, “Paris, My Sweet: a Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate),” includes her recommendations for the best sweet shops both Paris and her hometown, New York City, have to offer.
“A Land More Kind than Home” by Wiley Cash
Young Jess Hall and his older, autistic brother Stump have been warned repeatedly by their mother, Julie, to never snoop, yet the lure of spying on others is almost irresistible. Their curiosity proves to be Stump’s undoing, though, when he is caught by pastor Carson Chambliss during his romantic tryst with Julie. Chambliss, who leads a congregation of snake handlers, convinces Julie to bring Stump to church for a special healing ceremony –– one that has disastrous results. Set in the isolated mountains of North Carolina, “A Land More Kind than Home” is the compelling debut of talented newcomer Wiley Cash.
“The Red House” by Mark Haddon
Take eight people –– four adults and four kids –– and add some touchy familial relationships. Bring them together for a weeklong vacation at a rented cottage on the Welsh border, and you have the makings for Mark Haddon’s new novel, “The Red House.” The action begins when wealthy Richard invites his estranged sister, Angela, and her family to vacation with him and his new, young wife, Louise, and his nasty adolescent stepdaughter, Melissa. Richard’s hopes for a happy week are soon dashed when Angela shows up with her out-of-work husband, Dominic, and her three children: gawky teen Alex, rebellious Daisy and young Benjy.
“The Innocents” by Francesca Segal
Drawing on Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” for inspiration, Francesca Segal makes her well-received fiction debut. Set in a modern day upscale Jewish enclave in London, “The Innocents” tells of Adam Newman and Rachel Gilbert. They have dated since they were 16, and soon their 12-year engagement will end in an elaborate wedding. Adam is delighted to be continuing the life that has always been a joy to him –– until he meets Rachel’s cousin Ellie. An actress and model, certainly a freer spirit than anyone in Temple Fortune, Ellie has a way of making Adam question everything he thought was right.
Page 2 of 2 - “Age of Miracles” by Karen Thompson Walker
It isn’t global warming that brings the world to an end in Karen Thompson Walker’s disturbing debut novel, “Age of Miracles.” The rotation of the planet has inexplicably begun to slow down. The days and nights become longer, gravity changes, nothing is normal anymore, and no one, not even the top scientists, knows what to do. Against this backdrop, Walker sets the story of 11-year-old Julia, a typical girl who should be concerned only with school, soccer, and her friends, but who is forced to come to terms with a world headed to oblivion.