Stacking the Shelves: 06.10.2012

Stacking the Shelves

06.10.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

I promised myself I would stay away from the bookstore this week. I promised. But, as it goes, sometimes promises are effectively broken. I did, however, scold my willpower for losing its stamina and sabotaging my book budget by whispering tantalizing and subjective messages of temptation like,

“But, look…it’s on SALE. A sale! If you don’t get it now, you’ll have to pay triple the price later. You should get it now before the sale ends or before they run out of copies! You owe it to yourself…”

Uh-huh.

Here’s my gluttonous purchase for the week:

For Review:

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout courtesy of McClelland & Stewart.

ABOVE ALL THINGS by Tanis Rideout

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 Books I Bought:


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Giovanni’s Gift by Bradford Morrow

A partial description from the inside jacket of the book:

When Grant hears of the campaign of malice being waged against his only living relatives, he abandons Rome and a crumbling marriage to do what he can to help them. His brash confidence is quickly bruised as the night visits escalate in violence, and the death of Giovanni Trentas, a dear family friend found mutilated in a gorge above the ranch, takes on new meaning…

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The Vintage Caper by Peter Mayle

From the backcover of the book:

From Hollywood to Marseille with delicious stops in between, Peter Mayle’s latest novel is filled with the culinary delights and entertaining characters that make him our treasured chronicler of French food and life.

The Vintage Caper begins high above Los Angeles with a world-class heist at the impressive wine cellar of lawyer Danny Roth. Enter Sam Levitt, former lawyer and wine connoisseur, who follows leads to Bordeaux and Provence. The unravelling of the ingenious crime is threaded through with Mayle’s seductive rendering of France’s sensory delights—from a fine Lynch-Bages to the bouillabaisse of Marseille—guaranteed to char, and inform even the most sophisticated palates.

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Tears of Pearl by Tasha Alexander

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

Looking forward to the joys of connubial bliss, newlyweds Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves, diplomats of the British Empire, set out toward Turkey for an exotic honeymoon. But on their first night in the city, a harem girl is found murdered, strangled in the courtyard of the sultan’s lavish Yildiz Palace. Sir Richard St. Clare, an Englishman who works at the embassy in Constantinople, is present and recognizes the girl as his own daughter who was kidnapped twenty years earlier. Emily and Colin promise the heartbroken father that they’ll find her killer, but as the investigation gains speed, they find that appearance can be deceiving-especially within the confines of the seraglio.

The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

Meet Ella Turner and Isabelle du Moulin-two women born centuries apart, yet bound by a fateful family legacy. When Ella and her husband move to a small town in France, Ella hopes to brush up on her French, qualify to practice as a midwife, and start a family of her own. Village life turns out to be less idyllic than she expected, however, and a peculiar dream of the color blue propels her on a quest to uncover her family’s French ancestry. As the novel unfolds-alternating between Ella’s story and that of Isabelle du Moulin four hundred years earlier-a common thread emerges that unexpectedly links the two women. Part detective story, part historical fiction, The Virgin Blue is a novel of passion and intrigue that compels readers to the very last page.

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The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa de la Cruz

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss’ true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver’s brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged. Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz’s vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.

Follow Me by Joanna Scott

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

On a summer day in 1946 Sally Werner, the precocious young daughter of hardscrabble Pennsylvania farmers, secretly accepts her cousin’s invitation to ride his new motorcycle. Like so much of what follows in Sally’s life, it’s an impulsive decision with dramatic and far-reaching consequences. Soon she abandons her home to begin a daring journey of self-creation, the truth of which she entrusts only with her granddaughter and namesake, six decades later. But when young Sally’s father–a man she has never known–enters her life and offers another story altogether, she must uncover the truth of her grandmother’s secret history. Boldly rendered and beautifully told, in FOLLOW ME Joanna Scott has crafted a paean to the American tradition of re-invention and a sweeping saga of timeless and tender storytelling.

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Kalooki Nights by Howard Jacobson

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

Cartoonist Max Glickman recalls his childhood in a British suburb in the 1950s, surrounded by Jews, each with an entirely different and outspoken view on what it means to be Jewish. After his friend Manny Washinsky is released from prison, Max is compelled to uncover the motive behind Manny’s crime-the discovery of which leads Max to understand the indelible effects of the Holocaust and to explore the intrinsic and paradoxical questions of a post-war Jewish identity.

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A Curable Romantic by Joseph Skibell

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

As far as romance goes, Dr. Jakob Sammelsohn is fairly incurable. Twice married, once divorced, once widowed all by the tender age of twelve he finally flees his small village and his pious, vengeful father. A lovelorn candide, young Dr. Sammelsohn wanders optimistically through history pursued by the amorous ghost of his dead wife. Arriving in Vienna in 1890, a chance encounter with Sigmund Freud leads our hero into the arms of Emma Eckstein, one of Freud’s’ most famous patients. Later he romances the beautiful and wealthy Loe Bernfeld, who carries him into the world of Esperanto and the universal language movement. Finally, Dr. Sammelsohn finds himself in the Warsaw ghetto in 1940, only to become a pawn in a battle over the path to heaven. A Curable Romantic is a novel of personal and historical exile that could spring only from the literary imagination of a virtuoso. Often fantastical yet always grounded in tradition and history, it is that rare literary feat a truly incomparable tale, ingenuously told, peopled with characters who live on in the memory.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare 

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gas lit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by-and torn between-two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s’ length . . . everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world. . . . and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

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The High Flyer by Susan Howatch

Successful London lawyer Carter Graham has power, sex appeal, and a well-ordered life. Everything has gone according to plan, including her recent marriage to Kim Betz, an investment banker with the right combination of looks and position. On the surface it appears to be a match made in heaven. The only problem is Kim’s ex-wife. Sophie begins to follow Carter like a shadow, making outrageous claims about Kim’s involvement in the occult.

Convincing herself that Sophie is mad, Carter moves ahead with her life. But something is amiss-and as Sophie’s stories are corroborated by other unwelcome disclosures from Kim’s past, Carter is thrown into a terrifying web of suspicion and betrayal, pushing her sanity to the edge. In desperation, Carter seeks help from Nicholas Darrow, the charismatic priest of St. Benet’s Healing Center. Though a religious skeptic, Carter hopes to stem the tide of darkness that threatens to envelop her life-and begins a compelling journey into the very nature of good and evil, wisdom and redemption.

Disobedience by Jane Hamilton

Partial description from the Chapters-Indigo website:

From Jane Hamilton, author of the beloved New York Timesbestsellers A Map of the World and The Book of Ruth, comes a warmly humorous, poignant novel about a young man, his mother’s e-mail, and the often surprising path of infidelity.

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Butterfly Lovers by Charles Foran

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

David’s story is a triumph of beautifully assured narrative. moving effortlessly between the vividly drawn locales of Montreal and Beijing and between past and present. A dozen different voices speak eloquently; the end result is an intelligent and moving exploration of our fragile, guarded identities and our tentative forays into discovering who we really are. Effortlessly and intricately textured. Butterfly Loversis another superb read from a talented writer.

Yesterday’s Weather by Anne Enright

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

A rich collection of sharp, vivid stories of loss and yearning, of the ordinary defeats and unexpected delights that grow out of the bonds between husbands and wives, mothers and children, and intimate strangers.

A Wall of Light by Edeet Ravel

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

Sonya lives in Tel Aviv with her protective half-brother, Kostya; their household has dwindled from five to two. Anna, their mother, is now in a nursing home and Noah, Kostya’s son, is living in Berlin. Kostya, wracked with guilt for the tragedies that have befallen Sonya, also grapples with the memory of his wife, Iris, a lawyer murdered in the course of a dangerous investigation seventeen years earlier.

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Books I Won:

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Inukshuk by Gregory Spatz

I won this title from the Early Reviewer Program at Library Thing.

Description from Goodreads:

John Franklin has moved his fifteen-year-old son to the remote northern Canadian town of Houndstitch to make a new life together after his wife, Thomas’ mother, left them. Mourning her disappearance, John writes poetry and escapes into an affair, while Thomas, isolated and bullied, withdraws into a fantasy recreation of the infamous Victorian-era arctic expedition led by British explorer Sir John Franklin. Artistically gifted yet dangerously obsessive, Thomas gives himself scurvy so that he can sympathize with the characters in the film of his mind—and is almost lost himself.

A poignant tale of the vulnerability of adolescence interspersed with powerfully evoked scenes of the legendary Franklin crew’s descent into despair, madness, and cannibalism on the Arctic tundra, Inukshuk offers readers a modern family drama as well as a compelling historical adventure.

Gold by Chris Cleave

Thank you to Random House of Canada. I randomly won their weekly promotional contest.

In the tradition of his beloved previous novel, Little Bee, Chris Cleave again gives us an elegant, funny, passionate story about friendship, marriage, parenthood, tragedy, and redemption. This time, the setting is the upcoming London Olympics. Goldis the story of two women, Zoe and Kate, world-class cyclists who have been friends and rivals since their first day of elite training years ago. They have loved, fought, betrayed, forgiven, lost, consoled, triumphed, and grown up together. Now, on the eve of London 2012, their last Olympics, the two must compete for the one remaining spot on their team. In doing so, the women will be tested to their physical, mental and emotional limits. They will confront each other and their own mortality, and be asked to decide: What will you sacrifice for the people you love?

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Thank you to Lila from whom I won the Love in Bloom Giveaway Hop on her website.

From the Chapters-Indigo website:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan’s life. Having missed her flight, she’s stuck at JFK airport and late to her father’s second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley’s never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport’s cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, her’s British, and her’s sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver’s story will make you believe that true love finds you when you’re least expecting it.

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How have you stacked your shelves this week?

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