New books: I love them! And I really love writing these monthly new books posts. I’m a little late this month, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a bunch of great books to keep an eye on for November!
Chain of Events by Fredrick T. Olsson (November 4) Debut thriller. The description of this one sounds like a Robin Cook book crossed with the Da Vinci Code: a chase across Europe to solve a hidden riddle, but the riddle in this case happens to be found in our genetic code. “William Sandberg, once a well-respected military cryptologist pursuing cutting-edge research, is a ruined man. His career is in shambles, his marriage is over, and he’s succumbed to a dark depression. But William’s talents haven’t gone unnoticed. A nameless, top-secret organization abducts him and tasks him with a daunting mission: decode a message that will reveal the disastrous prophecies hidden in our DNA before it is too late.”
Map of Betrayal by Ha Jin (November 4). When you read about the writing of Chinese-American author Ha Jin, a word you will frequently encounter is “spare”. The acclaimed poet and novelist is known for a style that appears simple on the surface, but contains great depth: a style that Novelist notes “belies the complicated plots and deep inner-lives of characters” in the stories. With this new book, he follows a trend of literary authors weaving genre structures into their writing and presents “a riveting tale of espionage and conflicted loyalties that spans half a century in the entwined histories of two countries—China and the United States—and two families.”
The Book Of Strange New Things by Michel Faber (November 18) British author Faber has penned historical fiction, science fiction, short stories: one book by him may be unlike any other by him and this seems no exception. The Book of Strange New Things “concerns Peter and Beatrice, whose marriage is tested when Peter travels as a missionary, spreading the Gospel to a faraway land, and Beatrice is left to deal with troubles at home. In the most extraordinary and spellbinding ways, it deals with faith – religious faith, to be sure, but also faith in oneself, faith in salvation and faith in those we love.” A prominent blurb for this book is from author David Mitchell. He said “It is maniacally gripping.It is vibrant with wit and overcast with prescience and social commentary.Like all superlative science fiction, its real subject is that most mystifying of alien species, humanity. I didn’t so much read The Book of Strange New Things as inhabit it, the way you inhabited that handful of books which, as a kid, first got you hooked on this wonderful drug known as reading.”
Revival: A Novel by Stephen King (November 11) I feel like the last couple of years have been particularly exciting times for Stephen King fans. King has long been a household name, but there seems to have been a real change of late in the way he is received. The last 5 years have seen the release of Under The Dome, 11/22/63, Joyland and Mr. Mercedes: novels with very different flavours but all decided Stephen King books. While those books have brought in elements of mystery, science fiction, and history, Revival seems a return to King’s roots as a writer of creepy, horror stories.” In a small New England town, over half a century ago, a shadow falls over a small boy playing with his toy soldiers. Jamie Morton looks up to see a striking man, the new minister. Charles Jacobs, along with his beautiful wife, will transform the local church. With Jamie, the Reverend shares a deeper bond based on a secret obsession. When tragedy strikes the Jacobs family, this charismatic preacher curses God, mocks all religious belief, and is banished from the shocked town.”
Perfect Mother by Nina Darnton (November 25). Another thriller, this one with a ripped from the headlines feel. “When an American exchange student is accused of murder, her mother will stop at nothing to save her. A midnight phone call shatters Jennifer Lewis’s carefully orchestrated life. Her daughter, Emma, who’s studying abroad in Spain, has been arrested after the brutal murder of nanother student. Jennifer rushes to her side, certain the arrest is a terrible mistake and determined to do whatever is necessary to bring Emma home. But as she begins to investigate the crime, she starts to wonder whether she ever really knew her daughter. The police charge Emma, and the press leaps on the story, exaggerating every sordid detail. One by one, Emma’s defense team, her father, and finally even Jennifer begin to have doubts.”