They tempt me.
Here are some of the latest temptresses...
After the Train, by Gloria Whelan - The National Book Award-winning author of "Homeless Bird" weaves an important, atmospheric story about a young German boy who discovers a troubling mystery that sheds light on his town's dark nature, and casts doubts on his parents stories about the war.
This one doesn't come out until February. I couldn't find a cover image, but the copy I have (and it's not one of the cheap paper ARCs) is simply a white expanse with "After the Train" printed in the middle. You're not missing much, but it does sound like a great book. It's a skinny volume, too, only 160 pages, so I expect I'll bust through it quickly when I get the chance.
This One is Mine, by Maria Semple - Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.
Semple has written for shows like Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. I'm sold! The blurb on this one might not normally grab me, but I have high hopes for it. The actual cover is far more striking than the image above. I just wanna eat it up. Actually, I want to swim in that pool.
Dear Julia, by Amy Bronwen Zemser - Elaine Hamilton has never wanted to be the center of attention. She'd like nothing more than to cook quietly in her kitchen, mastering French cooking with the recipes of the great Julia Child.
So how did she end up with cameras zooming in on her and a crowd cheering her on?
Well, it involves . . .
-an eccentric best friend named after a font,
-five lively brothers constantly asking, "What's for dinner?",
-a rotten fig and a weakness,
-feminist congresswoman mother,
-a yoga-practicing father,
-a chest full of unsent letters,
-and many, many roast ducks.
I actually started Dear Julia a couple of books ago, but when Living Dead Girl and The Graveyard Book came into my life, I had to put this one aside. That's not a judgement, it's just the nature of borrowing books and getting them back to the owner (Susan) quickly. Once I finish Graveyard and the Obama book I'm working on, I'm diving right back into Dear Julia. Something about fall always puts me in a frame of mind for children's and young adult literature, so you've been given fair warning.
What's calling to you from your review shelf or your unread stack?
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to make a big pot of loaded baked potato soup. My hips cringe at the thought. Mom is having a bit of oral surgery tomorrow (to fix a botched root canal), so I expect I'll be a wee bit occupied tomorrow. We're stocking up on soft food. Wish her luck!