Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tuesday Books

I don't know what it is, guys and gals. I imagine it must be cause of the Holiday, but I've got jack for you this week. And by "jack," I mean four books.

LESBIANS!

Esther Murphy was a brilliant New York intellectual who dazzled friends and strangers with an unstoppable flow of conversation. But she never finished the books she was contracted to write — a painful failure and yet a kind of achievement.

The quintessential fan, Mercedes de Acosta had intimate friendships with the legendary actresses and dancers of the twentieth century. Her ephemeral legacy lies in the thousands of objects she collected to preserve the memory of those performers and to honor the feelings they inspired.

An icon of haute couture and a fashion editor of British Vogue, Madge Garland held bracing views on dress that drew on her feminism, her ideas about modernity, and her love of women. Existing both vividly and invisibly at the center of cultural life, she — like Murphy and de Acosta — is now almost completely forgotten.

In All We Know, Lisa Cohen describes these women’s glamorous choices, complicated failures, and controversial personal lives with lyricism and empathy. At once a series of intimate portraits and a startling investigation into style, celebrity, sexuality, and the genre of biography itself, All We Know explores a hidden history of modernism and pays tribute to three compelling lives.

All We Know is one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Best Books of 2012

Ah, Prague: how I miss having tantric sex with my dwarf prince in your city's fountains!

Cosmically fast-paced and wildly imaginative, this debut novel is a perfect potion of magic and suspense

Once a city of enormous wealth and culture, Prague was home to emperors, alchemists, astronomers, and, as it’s whispered, hell portals. When music student Sarah Weston lands a summer job at Prague Castle cataloging Beethoven’s manuscripts, she has no idea how dangerous her life is about to become. Prague is a threshold, Sarah is warned, and it is steeped in blood.

Soon after Sarah arrives, strange things begin to happen. She learns that her mentor, who was working at the castle, may not have committed suicide after all. Could his cryptic notes be warnings? As Sarah parses his clues about Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” she manages to get arrested, to have tantric sex in a public fountain, and to discover a time-warping drug. She also catches the attention of a four-hundred-year-old dwarf, the handsome Prince Max, and a powerful U.S. senator with secrets she will do anything to hide.

City of Dark Magic could be called a rom-com paranormal suspense novel — or it could simply be called one of the most entertaining novels of the year.

Publishers Weekly called it the "British variation on A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius" by David Foster Wallace. I was going to make some comment about how it is NOT the memoir of Milo and Elijah Peters...you pervs!

Billy's mother is dead. He knows - because he reads about it in magazines - that people die every day in ways that are more random and tragic and stupid than hers, but for nineteen-year-old Billy and his little brother, Oscar, their mother's death in a bungled street robbery is the most random and tragic and stupid thing that could possibly have happened to them. Now Billy must be both mother and father to Oscar, and despite what his well-meaning aunt, the PTA mothers, social services, and Oscar's own prodigal father all think, he feels certain that he is the one for the job.

The boys' new world - where bedtimes are arbitrary, tidiness is optional, and healthy home-cooked meals pile up uneaten in the freezer - is built out of chaos and fierce love, but it's also a world that teeters perilously on its axis. As Billy's obsession with his mother's missing killer grows, he risks losing sight of the one thing that really matters: the only family he has left.

Full disclosure? I'm not really into mysteries/thrillers, which this is. It made the cut because the author is...you guessed it...cute.

A brilliant thriller from the author of the acclaimed Good Thief's Guide series asks, how can a beautiful woman simply vanish?

When Rob Hale wakes up in a hospital after a motorcycle crash, his first thought is for the gorgeous blonde, Lena, who was on the back of his bike. The doctors and police, however, insist that he was alone at the scene. The shock of the accident must have made him imagine Lena, especially since his description of her resembles his late sister, Laura.

Convinced that Lena is as real as he is, Rob teams up with Rebecca Lewis, a London-based PI who has a mysterious connection to Laura — and learns that even a close-knit community like the Isle of Man can hide dangerous secrets that will not stay safe forever.

Chris Ewan's Safe House "is an exciting, well crafted thriller, with flashes of real humour and insight." (SJ Bolton)

4 comments:

Tamayn Irraniah said...

I have actually never read a book based on the fact that an author was cute. I read Scaramouche because I thought Andre-Louis was cute on the cover, yes, but never for the author.

becca said...

you always have the best books

Writer said...

Tamayn, I can honestly say that I've never picked up a book and read it based on the cuteness of the author...though it tends to cause me to pick up the book long enough to look at the author photo. :)

Writer said...

Thank you, becca. How are you? You haven't posted since last week. :(