Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More New Bestsellers to curl up with!!

Rising Tides by Taylor Anderson

Publishers Weekly-

The intrigue-heavy fifth installment in the saga of a temporally displaced WWII destroyer and crew moves from southeast Asian jungles to Hawai'i dueling grounds. Capt. Matt Reddy is faced with the dual tasks of breaking the treacherous Honorable New Britain Company and securing an alliance with the slave-keeping Empire. Doing so, however, incurs the enmity of the Holy Dominion, displaced colonial Spaniards who practice a blood-drenched sort of Catholicism. While Matt struggles with moral ambiguities, the younger officers gain more responsibilities and face the fatal consequences of mistakes in command, and Lt. Sandra Tucker leads imperial heir Princess Rebecca

and a boatload of Company escapees across a dinosaur-crammed Pacific isla

nd. Anderson continues to broaden the scope of the story, but never lets the philosophy drown out the action, tossing in a full-scale naval battle and a volcanic tsunami for the twin climaxes.

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Publishers Weekly-

Hoffman brings us 200 years in the history of Blackwell, a small town in rural Massachusetts, in her insightful latest. The story opens with the arrival of the first settlers, among them a pragmatic English woman, Hallie, and her profligate, braggart husband, William. Hallie makes an immediate and intense connection to the wilderness, and the tragic severing of that connection results in the creation of the red garden, a small, sorrowful plot of land that takes on an air of the sacred. The novel moves forward in linked stories, each building on (but not following from) the previous and focusing on a wide range of characters, including placid bears, a band of nomadic horse traders, a woman who finds a new beginning in Blackwell, and the ghost of a young girl drowned in the river who stays in the town's consciousness long after her name has been forgotten. The result is a certain ethereal detachment as Hoffman's deft magical realism ties one woman's story to the next even when they themselves are not aware of the connection. The prose is beautiful, the characters drawn sparsely but with great compassion.




Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Publishers Weekly-

Few novelists debut with as much hearty recommendation as Russell, a New Yorker 20-under-40 whose cunning first novel germinates a seed planted in her much-loved collection, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. We return to Swamplandia!, the once-thriving Florida tourist attraction where the Bigtree clan—Ava, Ossie, Kiwi, and the Chief—wrestles alligators. After the death of mother Hilola—the park's star alligator wrestler—Ava, the youngest Bigtree, takes her place in the spotlight while her sister, Ossie, elopes with a ghostly man named Louis Thanksgiving, and brother Kiwi winds up sweeping floors at Swamplandia!'s competition. Worst of all is the disappearance of the Chief, spurring Ava to embark upon a rescue mission that will take her from the Gulf of Mexico to the gates of hell, occasionally assisted by an unlikely extended family that includes the geriatric Grandpa Sawtooth, the Bird Man, and a tiny red alligator with the potential to save the park. Russell's willingness to lend flesh and blood to her fanciful, fantastical creations gives this spry novel a potent punch and announces an enthralling new beginning for a quickly evolving young author.

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