December 2010 Fiction

General Fiction

Sunset Park by Paul Auster

Luminous, passionate, expansive, an emotional tour de force Sunset Parkfollows the hopes and fears of a cast of unforgettable characters brought together by the mysterious Miles Heller during the dark months of the 2008 economic collapse. An enigmatic young man employed as a trash-out worker in southern Florida obsessively photographing thousands of abandoned objects left behind by the evicted families.A group of young people squatting in an apartment in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The Hospital for Broken Things, which specializes in repairing the artifacts of a vanished world.William Wyler’s 1946 classicThe Best Years of Our Lives. A celebrated actress preparing to return to Broadway. An independent publisher desperately trying to save his business and his marriage.These are just some of the elements Auster magically weaves together in this immensely moving novel about contemporary America and its ghosts.Sunset Parkis a surprising departure that confirms Paul Auster as one of our greatest living writers.

Crazy by William Blaty

In 1941 New York, young Joey El Bueno’s world is turned upside-down when he meets the enigmatic Jane Bent, a freckle-faced girl with pigtails who seems to know him better than he knows himself, comes and goes at will, claims to have once levitated six feet off the ground, and seems to only be known by Joey.

Fated by S. G. Browne

From the acclaimed author of Breathers–an irreverent novel about fate, destiny, and the karmic consequences of getting involved with humans. Over the past few thousand years, Fabio has come to hate his job. As Fate, he’s in charge of assigning the fortunes and misfortunes that befall most of the human race-the 83% who keep screwing things up. Frustrated with his endless parade of drug addicts and career politicians, Fate has to watch Destiny guide her people to Nobel Peace Prizes and Super Bowl MVPs. To make matters worse, he has a five- hundred-year-old feud with Death, and his best friends are Sloth and Gluttony. And worst of all? He’s fallen in love with a human. Getting involved with a human breaks Rule #1, and about ten others, setting off some cosmic-sized repercussions that could strip him of his immortality-or lead to a fate worse than death.

I Still Dream About You by Fannie Flagg

The beloved Fannie Flagg is back and at her irresistible and hilarious best in I Still Dream About You, a comic mystery romp through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, past, present, and future. Meet Maggie Fortenberry, a still beautiful former Miss Alabama. To others, Maggie’s life seems practically perfect– she’s lovely, charming, and a successful real estate agent at Red Mountain Realty. Still, Maggie can’t help but wonder how she wound up in her present condition. She had been on her hopeful way to becoming Miss America and realizing her childhood dream of someday living in one of the elegant old homes on top of Red Mountain, with the adoring husband and the 2.5 children, but then something unexpected happened and changed everything. Maggie graduated at the top of her class at charm school, can fold a napkin in more than forty-eight different ways, and can enter and exit a car gracefully, but all the finesse in the world cannot help her now. Since the legendary real estate dynamo Hazel Whisenknott, beloved founder of Red Mountain Realty, died five years ago, business has gone from bad to worse-and the future isn’t looking much better. But just when things seem completely hopeless, Maggie suddenly comes up with the perfect plan to solve it all. As Maggie prepares to put her plan into action, we meet the cast of high-spirited characters around her. To Brenda Peoples, Maggie’s best friend and real estate partner, Maggie’s life seems easy as pie. Slender Maggie doesn’t have to worry about her figure, or about her Weight Watchers sponsor catching her at the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. And Ethel Clipp, Red Mountain’s ancient and grumpy office manager with the bright purple hair, thinks the world of Maggie but has absolutely nothing nice to say about their rival Babs “The Beast of Birmingham” Bingington, the unscrupulous estate agent who hates Maggie and is determined to put her out of business. Maggie has heartbreaking secrets in her past, but through a strange turn of events, she soon discovers, quite by accident, that everybody, it seems-dead or alive-has at least one little secret. I Still Dream About You is a wonderful novel that is equal parts Southern charm, murder mystery, and that perfect combination of comedy and old-fashioned wisdom that can be served up only by America’s own remarkable Fannie Flagg. —- From the Hardcover edition.

Up From the Blue by Susan Henderson

An imaginative young girl struggles to make sense of her mother’s mysterious disappearance, in this novel set in 1975, against the backdrop of school busing, desegregation, and early feminism.

Sons of Fortune by Malcolm MacDonald

The gripping third novel in the classic Stevenson family saga from epic master Malcolm Macdonald. After a dizzying rise filled with ambition and passion, the Stevensons are now one of the richest families in the world. John, recalling his lowly past, wants his children to obey to the letter and never put a foot wrong. But his four eldest children, Young John, Winifred, Caspar, and Abigail, have ideas of their own. As they test the temptations of the adult world, the lure of profit and pleasure brings the risk of disaster and disgrace, and the tensions threaten to pull the family apart. The third novel in the classic Stevenson family saga, Sons of Fortune, is the epic story of a Victorian family at the height of wealth and power, and the choices and chances that pose the ultimate risk to their happiness and bond.

An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin

Lacey Yeager is young, captivating, and ambitious enough to take the NYC art world by storm. Groomed at Sotheby’s and hungry to keep climbing the social and career ladders put before her, Lacey charms men and women, old and young, rich and even richer with her magnetic charisma and liveliness. Her ascension to the highest tiers of the city parallel the soaring heights–and, at times, the dark lows–of the art world and the country from the late 1990s through today.

Return to Sender by Fern Michaels

At seventeen, Rosalind Lin Townsend finds herself pregnant and alone. Her father, deeply religious yet cruel, throws her out of the house. Nick Pemberton, her baby’s father and the man she naively hoped might marry her, rejects her. Yet even at the lowest point in her life, Lin vows to succeed on her own terms, and to give her son, Will, all the love and happiness she’s been denied. Nineteen years later, Lin has made good on her promises. She’s the owner of a thriving diner in her Georgia hometown, and Will has grown into a fine, intelligent young man who’s about to start his freshman year at NYU. But when Lin visits New York with Will, she crosses paths with the one man she was sure she’d never see again Nick Pemberton, now a millionaire CEO, the man who sent back all her letters unopened, marked Return to Sender. Seeing him fills Lin with anger and she resolves to right the wrong he did to Will. Helped by Jason, a hired detective, and her best friend, Sally, Lin sets out to disrupt Nick’s life and his finances, with spectacular results. But the truth is more complex and surprising than she imagined. And soon Lin must choose between the revenge she thought would free her, and the bright new future that’s about to be delivered to her door.

The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey by Walter Mosley

Ptolemy Grey is a 91-year-old man, suffering from dementia and living as a recluse in his Los Angeles apartment. Then Robyn Small, a 17-year-old family friend, appears and helps clean up his apartment and straighten out his life. A reinvigorated Ptolemy volunteers for an experimental medical program that restores his mind, and he uses his last days–shortened now by the medical experiment–to delve into the mystery of the recent drive-by shooting death of his great-nephew, Reggie.

Luka and the Fire of Life by Salman Rushdie

Luka’s father, Rashid, the legendary storyteller of Kahani, falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic.

Rescue by Anita Shreve

A rookie paramedic pulls a young woman alive from her totaled car, a first rescue that begins a lifelong tangle of love and wreckage. Sheila Arsenault is a gorgeous enigma, streetwise and tough-talking, with haunted eyes, fierce desires, and a never-look-back determination. Peter Webster, as straight an arrow as they come, falls for her instantly and entirely. Soon Sheila and Peter are embroiled in an intense love affair, married, and parents to a baby daughter. Like the crash that brought them together, it all happened so fast.

Historical Fiction

Her Daughter’s Dream by Francine Rivers

In the dramatic conclusion to the New York Timesbest seller Her Mother’s Hope, Francine Rivers delivers a rich and deeply moving story about the silent sorrows that can tear a family apart and the grace and forgiveness that can heal even the deepest wounds.Growing up isn’t easy for little Carolyn Arundel. With her mother, Hildemara, quarantined to her room with tuberculosis, Carolyn forms a special bond with her oma Marta, who moves in to care for the household. But as tensions between Hildie and Marta escalate, Carolyn believes she is to blame. When Hildie returns to work and Marta leaves, Carolyn and her brother grow up as latchkey kids in a world gripped by the fear of the Cold War.College offers Carolyn the chance to find herself, but a family tragedy shatters her newfound independence. Rather than return home, she cuts all ties and disappears into the heady counterculture of San Francisco. When she reemerges two years later, more lost than ever, she reluctantly turns to her family to help rebuild a life for her and her own daughter, May Flower Dawn.Just like Carolyn, May Flower Dawn develops a closer bond with her grandmother, Hildie, than with her mother, causing yet another rift between generations. But as Dawn struggles to avoid the mistakes of those who went before her, she vows that somehow she will be a bridge between the women in her family rather than the wall that separates them forever.Spanning from the 1950s to present day, Her Daughter’s Dreamis the emotional final chapter of an unforgettable family saga about the sacrifices every mother makes for her daughter-and the very nature of unconditional love.

The Demon’s Parchment by Jeri Westerson

In fourteenth century London, Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight convicted of treason and stripped of his land, title and his honor. He has become known as “the Tracker” a man who can find anything, can solve any puzzle and, with the help of his apprentice, Jack Tucker, an orphaned street urchin with a thief’s touch will do so for a price. But this time, even Crispin is wary of taking on his most recent client. Jacob of Provencal is a Jewish physician at the Kingrsquo;s court, even though all Jews were expelled from England nearly a century before. Jacob wants Crispin to find stolen parchments that might be behind the recent, ongoing, gruesome murders of young boys, parchments that someone might have used to bring forth a demon which now stalks the streets and alleys of London.

Mystery

Port Mortuary by Patricia Cornwell

From the world’s #1 bestselling crime writer comes the extraordinary new Kay Scarpetta novel. Port Mortuary, the title of Patricia Cornwell’s 18th Scarpetta novel, is literally a port for the dead. In this fast-paced story, a treacherous path from Scarpetta’s past merges with the high tech highway she now finds herself on. We travel back to the beginning of her professional career, when she enlisted in the Air Force to pay off her medical school debt and found herself ensnared in a gruesome case of what seemed to be vicious, racially motivated hate crimes against two Americans in South Africa. Now, more than twenty years and many career successes later, her secret military ties have drawn her to Dover Air Force Base, where she has been immersed in a training fellowship to master the art of CT-assisted virtual autopsy–a procedure the White House has mandated that she introduce in the private sector. As the chief of the new Cambridge Forensic Center in Massachusetts, a joint venture of the state and federal governments and MIT, Scarpetta is confronted with a case that could shut down her new facility and ruin her personally and professionally. A young man drops dead, apparently from a cardiac arrhythmia, eerily close to Scarpetta’s new Cambridge home. But when his body is examined the next morning, there are stunning indications that he may have been alive when he was zipped inside a pouch and locked insider the Center’s cooler. Various 3-D radiology scans reveal more shocking details about internal injuries unlike any Scarpetta has ever seen. These suggest the possibility of a conspiracy to cause mass casualties. She realizes that she is fighting a cunning and cruel enemy that is invisible as she races against time to discover who and why before more people die. In Port Mortuary, Patricia Cornwell brings Scarpetta together with Marino, Benton, and Lucy in an intimate way that is reminiscent of the early novels, and we welcome a voice we haven’t heard in years. The point of view is Scarpetta’s, and this is her story.

The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson

Lily Moore fled to Spain to get away from her troubled, drug-addicted younger sister, Claudia. But when Claudia is found dead, Lily must return to New York. The situation shifts from tragic to baffling when the body at the morgue turns out to be a stranger’s.

Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

An indulgence for readers: the new Eve Dallas novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. First it was a limo driver shot through the neck with a crossbow. Then it was a high-priced escort found stabbed through the heart with a bayonet. Random hits, thrill kills, murderers with a taste for the finer things in life-and death-are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as an efficient and dangerous predator as the killer. As time runs out on another innocent victim’s life, Eve’s investigation will take her into the rarefied circle that her husband, Roarke, travels in-and into the perverted heart of madness. . .

Romance

The Bite Before Christmas by Heidi Betts

Where do single vampires go when they’re looking for romance? To Love Bites, of course, Angelina Bertolli’s highly successful, top secret vampire dating agency. Angelina helps three mortals find love in this trilogy of sexy, witty, irresistible vampire novellas.

Darcy’s Voyage by Kara Louise

In this enchanting and highly original retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet sets out for the new world aboard the grand ship, Pemberley’s Promise. She’s prepared for an uneventful voyage until a chance encounter with the handsome, taciturn Mr. Darcy turns her world upside down. When Elizabeth falls ill, Darcy throws convention overboard in a plan that will bind them to each other more deeply than he ever could have imagined. But the perils of their ocean voyage pale in comparison to the harsh reality of society’s rules that threaten their chance at happiness. When they return to the lavish halls of England, will their love survive?

Mr. Darcy’s Little Sister by C. Pierson

Georgiana Darcy grows up and goes in pursuit of happiness and true love, much to her big brother’s consternation. A whole new side of Mr. Darcy…He’s the best big brother, generous to a fault. Protective, never teases. But over his dead body is any rogue or fortune hunter going to get near his little sister! (Unfortunately, any gentleman who wants to court Georgiana is going to have the same problem.) So how,s a girl ever going to meet the gentleman of her dreams?

Happy Ever After by Nora Roberts

Dreams are realized in the eagerly-awaited fourth novel in Nora Roberts’s Bride Quartet. As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride’s vision. She just can’t see where her own life is headed. Mechanic Malcomb Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step. Parker’s business risks have always paid off, but now she’ll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart. . .

Science Fiction/Fantasy

Against All Things Ending by Stephen Donaldson

The long-awaited sequel to The Runes of the Earth and Fatal Revenant returns readers to the Land-and unravels some of the mysteries haunting Covenant and Linden Avery. Thomas Covenant is alive again, restored to his mortal body by the unimaginable combined force of his own white gold ring, Linden Avery’s Staff of Law, and the ancient dagger called High Loric’s krill. His resurrection is Linden’s defiant act of love, despite warnings from mortals and immortals that unleashing this much power would destroy the world. She brought his spirit back from its prison in the Arch of Time, and revived his slain body, so that Covenant lies whole on the cool grass, and the world seems at peace. But the truth is inescapable: The thunderclap of power has awakened the Worm of the World’s End, and all of them, and the Land itself, are forfeit to its devouring. If they have any chance to save the Land, it will come from unlikely sources- including the mysterious boy Jeremiah, Linden’s adopted son, whose secrets are only beginning to come to light.

The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor

The town of Lake Woebegotton, MN is a small town, filled with ordinary (yet above average) people, leading ordinary lives. Ordinary, that is, until the dead start coming back to life, with the intent to feast upon the living! Now this small town of above average citizens must overcome their petty rivalries and hidden secrets in order to survive an onslaught of the dead.

The Fall by Guillermo Toro and Chuck Hogan

From the authors of the instant New York Times bestseller The Strain comes the next volume in one of the most imaginative and frightening thriller series in many, many years Last week they invaded Manhattan. This week they will destroy the world.The vampiric virus unleashed in The Strain has taken over New York City. It is spreading and soon will envelop the globe. Amid the chaos, Eph Goodweather-head of the Centers for Disease Control’s team-leads a band out to stop these bloodthirsty monsters. But it may be too late.Ignited by the Master’s horrific plan, a war erupts between Old and New World vampires, each vying for control. At the center of the conflict lies a book, an ancient text that contains the vampires’ entire history . . . and their darkest secrets. Whoever finds the book can control the outcome of the war and, ultimately, the fate of us all. And it is between these warring forces that humans-powerless and vulnerable-find themselves no longer the consumers but the consumed. Though Eph understands the vampiric plague better than anyone, even he cannot protect those he loves. His ex-wife, Kelly, has been transformed into a bloodcrazed creature of the night, and now she stalks the city looking for her chance to reclaim her Dear One: Zack, Eph’s young son.With the future of humankind in the balance, Eph and his team, guided by the brilliant former professor and Holocaust survivor Abraham Setrakian and exterminator Vasiliy Fet and joined by a crew of ragtag gangsters, must combat a terror whose ultimate plan is more terrible than anyone has imagined-a fate worse than annihilation.

Suspense/Thriller

The Emperor’s Tomb by Steve Berry

The tomb of Chinarsquo;s First Emperor, guarded by an underground army of terra-cotta warriors, has remained sealed for more than 2,000 years. Though itrsquo;s regarded as one of the greatest archaeological sites in the world, the Chinese government won’t allow anyone to open it. Why? That question is at the heart of a dilemma faced by former Justice Department operative Cotton Malone, whose life is shattered when he receives an anonymous note carrying an unfamiliar Web address. Logging on, he sees Cassiopeia Vitt, a woman who’s saved his life more than once, being tortured at the hands of a mysterious man who has a single demand:Bring me the artifact she’s asked you to keep safe.The only problem is, Malone doesn’t have a clue what the man is talking about, since Cassiopeia has left nothing with him. So begins Malone’s most harrowing adventure to date-one that offers up astounding historical revelations, pits him against a ruthless ancient brotherhood, and sends him from Denmark to Belgium to Vietnam then on to China, a vast and mysterious land where danger lurks at every turn.

Crescent Dawn by Clive Cussler and Dirk Cussler

Dirk Pitt returns, in the extraordinary new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author. In A.D. 327, a Roman galley barely escapes a pirate attack with its extraordinary cargo. In 1916, a British warship mysteriously explodes in the middle of the North Sea. In the present day, a cluster of important mosques in Turkey and Egypt are wracked by explosions. Does anything tie them together? NUMA director Dirk Pitt is about to find out, as Roman artifacts discovered in Turkey and Israel unnervingly connect to the rise of a fundamentalist movement determined to restore the glory of the Ottoman Empire, and to the existence of a mysterious “manifest,” lost long ago, which if discovered again…just may change the history of the world as we know it.

Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

“I believe there is another man inside every man, a stranger . . .” writes Wilfred Leland James in the early pages of the riveting confession that makes up “1922,” the first in this pitch-black quartet of mesmerizing tales from Stephen King. For James, that stranger is awakened when his wife, Arlette, proposes selling off the family homestead and moving to Omaha, setting in motion a gruesome train of murder and madness. In “Big Driver,” a cozy-mystery writer named Tess encounters the stranger along a back road in Massachusetts when she takes a shortcut home after a book-club engagement. Violated and left for dead, Tess plots a revenge that will bring her face-to-face with another stranger: the one inside herself. “Fair Extension,” the shortest of these tales, is perhaps the nastiest and certainly the funniest. Making a deal with the devil not only saves Dave Streeter from a fatal cancer but provides rich recompense for a lifetime of resentment. When her husband of more than twenty years is away on one of his business trips, Darcy Anderson looks for batteries in the garage. Her toe knocks up against a box under a worktable and she discovers the stranger inside her husband. It’s a horrifying discovery, rendered with bristling intensity, and it definitively ends a good marriage. Like Different Seasons and Four Past Midnight, which generated such enduring films asThe Shawshank Redemption and Stand by Me, Full Dark, No Stars proves Stephen King a master of the long story form.

Cross Fire by James Patterson

Wedding bells ring. Detective Alex Cross and Bree’s wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.’s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories–is the marksman a hero or a vigilante? A murderer returns. The case explodes, and the FBI assigns agent Max Siegel to the investigation. As Alex and Siegel battle over jurisdiction, the murders continue. It becomes clear that they are the work of a professional who has detailed knowledge of his victims’ movements–information that only a Washington insider could possess. Caught in a lethal cross fire. As Alex contends with the sniper, Siegel, and the wedding, he receives a call from his deadliest adversary, Kyle Craig. The Mastermind is in D.C. and will not relent until he has eliminated Cross and his family for good. With a supercharged blend of action, deception, and suspense, Cross Fire is James Patterson’s most visceral and exciting Alex Cross novel ever.

The Hidden by Bill Pronzini

A series of seemingly random murders along a fifty-mile stretch of the rugged northern California coast, committed by an unknown dubbed by the media the Coastline Killer. A young couple with marital problems, Shelby and Jay Macklin, who decide to spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s at a friend’s remote coastal cottage. Two couples in a neighboring home whose relationships are thick with festering menace. A fierce winter storm that leads to a night of unrelenting terror. These are the main ingredients in Bill Pronzini’s chilling and twist-filled tale about the hidden nature of crime and its motives.

Of Love and Evil by Anne Rice

I dreamed a dream of angels. I saw them and heard them in a great and endless galactic night. I saw the lights that were these angels, flying here and there, in streaks of irresistible brilliance . . . I felt love around me in this vast and seamless realm of sound and light . . . And something akin to sadness swept me up and mingled my very essence with the voices who sang, because the voices were singing of me . . . Thus begins Anne Rice’s lyrical, haunting new novel, a metaphysical thriller of angels and assassins that once again summons up dark and dangerous worlds set in times past. Anne Rice takes us to other realms, this time to the world of fifteenth-century Rome, a city of domes and rooftop gardens, rising towers and crosses beneath an ever-shifting layer of clouds; familiar hills and tall pines . . . of Michelangelo and Raphael, of the Holy Inquisition and of Leo X, second son of a Medici, holding forth from the papal throne . . . And into this time, into this century, Toby O; Dare, former government assassin, is summoned by the angel Malchiah to solve a terrible crime of poisoning and to search out the truth of a haunting by an earthbound restless spirit; a diabolical dybbuk. Dare soon discovers himself in the midst of dark plots and counterplots surrounded by a darker and more dangerous threat as the veil of ecclesiastical terror closes in around him. As he embarks on a powerful journey of atonement, ;Dare is reconnected with his own past, with matters light and dark, fierce and tender, with the promise of salvation and with a deeper and richer vision of love.

The Athena Project by Brad Thor

The world’s most elite counterterrorism unit has just taken its game to an entirely new level. And not a moment too soon . . .From behind the rows of razor wire, a new breed of counterterrorism operator has emerged. Just as skilled, just as fearsome, and just as deadly as their colleagues, Delta Force’s newest members have only one thing setting them apart—their gender. Part of a top-secret, all-female program codenamed The Athena Project, four of Delta’s best and brightest women are about to undertake one of the nation’s deadliest assignments. When a terrorist attack in Rome kills more than twenty Americans, Athena Team members Gretchen Casey, Julie Ericsson, Megan Rhodes, and Alex Cooper are tasked with hunting down the Venetian arms dealer responsible for providing the explosives. But there is more to the story than anyone knows. In the jungles of South America, a young U.S. intelligence officer has made a grisly discovery. Surrounded by monoliths covered with Runic symbols, one of America’s greatest fears appears to have come true. Simultaneously in Colorado, a foreign spy is close to penetrating the mysterious secret the U.S. government has hidden beneath Denver International Airport. As Casey, Ericsson, Rhodes, and Cooper close in on their target, they will soon learn that another attack—one of unimaginable proportions—has already been set in motion, and the greatest threat they face may be the secrets kept by their own government.

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