Friday, June 11, 2010

TGIF: Next Week's Temptations & Fill In Fun

Hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine

Do you know how many books are released into the market each week? An unbelievable number. Here is my short list of the books coming out on June 15th in the U.S. that caught my attention:

Stories: All-New Tales edited by Neil Gaiman & Al Sarrantonio ~ If the list of authors contributing to this anthology wasn't enough to tempt me, then surely Neil Gaiman's name alone might.
"The joy of fiction is the joy of the imagination. . . ."

The best stories pull readers in and keep them turning the pages, eager to discover more—to find the answer to the question: "And then what happened?" The true hallmark of great literature is great imagination, and as Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio prove with this outstanding collection, when it comes to great fiction, all genres are equal.

Stories is a groundbreaking anthology that reinvigorates, expands, and redefines the limits of imaginative fiction and affords some of the best writers in the world—from Peter Straub and Chuck Palahniuk to Roddy Doyle and Diana Wynne Jones, Stewart O'Nan and Joyce Carol Oates to Walter Mosley and Jodi Picoult—the opportunity to work together, defend their craft, and realign misconceptions. Gaiman, a literary magician whose acclaimed work defies easy categorization and transcends all boundaries, and "master anthologist" (Booklist) Sarrantonio personally invited, read, and selected all the stories in this collection, and their standard for this "new literature of the imagination" is high. "We wanted to read stories that used a lightning-flash of magic as a way of showing us something we have already seen a thousand times as if we have never seen it at all."

Joe Hill boldly aligns theme and form in his disturbing tale of a man's descent into evil in "Devil on the Staircase." In "Catch and Release," Lawrence Block tells of a seasoned fisherman with a talent for catching a bite of another sort. Carolyn Parkhurst adds a dark twist to sibling rivalry in "Unwell." Joanne Harris weaves a tale of ancient gods in modern New York in "Wildfire in Manhattan." Vengeance is the heart of Richard Adams's "The Knife." Jeffery Deaver introduces a dedicated psychologist whose mission in life is to save people in "The Therapist." A chilling punishment befitting an unspeakable crime is at the dark heart of Neil Gaiman's novelette "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains."

As it transforms your view of the world, this brilliant and visionary volume—sure to become a classic—will ignite a new appreciation for the limitless realm of exceptional fiction. [Description from Amazon]

The Ice Princess by Camilla Lackberg ~ I've fallen under the spell of Scandinavian authors and am eager to read this one.
The American debut of internationally bestselling Swedish writer Camilla Lackberg’s haunting first novel. Returning to her hometown of Fjallbacka after the funeral of her parents, writer Erica Falck finds a community on the brink of tragedy. The death of her childhood friend, Alex, is just the beginning. Her wrists slashed, her body frozen in an ice-cold bath, it seems that she has taken her own life.

Erica conceives a book about the beautiful but remote Alex, one that will answer questions about their own shared past. While her interest grows into an obsession, local detective Patrik Hedstrom is following his own suspicions about the case. But it is only when they start working together that the truth begins to emerge about a small town with a deeply disturbing past. [Description from Amazon]

Leaving the World by Douglas Kennedy ~ I haven't read anything by this author before but was quite taken with the description of this novel.
On the night of her thirteenth birthday, Jane Howard made a vow to her warring parents: she would never get married, and she would never have children.

But life, as Jane comes to discover, is a profoundly random business. Many years and many lives later, she is a professor in Boston, in love with a brilliant, erratic man named Theo. And then Jane becomes pregnant. Motherhood turns out to be a great welcome surprise—but when a devastating turn of events tears her existence apart she has no choice but to flee all she knows and leave the world.

Just when she has renounced life itself, the disappearance of a young girl pulls her back from the edge and into an obsessive search for some sort of personal redemption. Convinced that she knows more about the case than the police do, she is forced to make a decision—stay hidden or bring to light a shattering truth.

Leaving the World is a riveting portrait of a brilliant woman that reflects the way we live now, of the many routes we follow in the course of a single life, and of the arbitrary nature of destiny. A critically acclaimed international bestseller, it is also a compulsive read and one that speaks volumes about the dilemmas we face in trying to navigate our way through all that fate throws in our path. [Description from Amazon]

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim ~ I generally do not care to read books about or by celebrities, but occasionally I come across one that is hard to resist. As a long time fan of the television show, Little House on the Prairie (I still haven't read the books), a bolt of excitement ran through me when I found out this book was coming out next week.
For seven years, Alison Arngrim played a wretched, scheming, selfish, lying, manipulative brat on one of TV history's most beloved series. Though millions of Little House on the Prairie viewers hated Nellie Oleson and her evil antics, Arngrim grew to love her character—and the freedom and confidence Nellie inspired in her.

In Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, Arngrim describes growing up in Hollywood with her eccentric parents: Thor Arngrim, a talent manager to Liberace and others, whose appetite for publicity was insatiable, and legendary voice actress Norma MacMillan, who played both Gumby and Casper the Friendly Ghost. She recalls her most cherished and often wickedly funny moments behind the scenes of Little House: Michael Landon's "unsaintly" habit of not wearing underwear; how she and Melissa Gilbert (who played her TV nemesis, Laura Ingalls) became best friends and accidentally got drunk on rum cakes at 7-Eleven; and the only time she and Katherine MacGregor (who played Nellie's mom) appeared in public in costume, provoking a posse of elementary schoolgirls to attack them.

Arngrim relays all this and more with biting wit, but she also bravely recounts her life's challenges: her struggle to survive a history of traumatic abuse, depression, and paralyzing shyness; the "secret" her father kept from her for twenty years; and the devastating loss of her "Little House husband" and best friend, Steve Tracy, to AIDS, which inspired her second career in social and political activism. Arngrim describes how Nellie Oleson taught her to be bold, daring, and determined, and how she is eternally grateful to have had the biggest little bitch on the prairie to show her the way. [Description from Amazon]
Will I read it? I don't know. But it sure is tempting!

What's your "waiting on" pick this week? Are there any books coming out this next week that I should know about?

Graphic courtesy of Tonya!
*Click on the image above graphic to get to the Friday Fill-In headquarters, hosted by Janet!*

1. Losing myself in a good book feels great.

2. The solution is cuddles.

3. My sleep is much more restful if I read before I fall asleep.

4. How about a side of comedy to go with that mystery?

5. Reading Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series is something I highly recommend!

6. Imagine having a day without responsibilities or commitments stretched out before you. You can do anything you want. What would you do?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending a quiet evening with my husband; tomorrow my plans include finding a top to go with that skirt I bought for my brother's wedding; and Sunday, I want to delve more deeply in Frank Delaney's Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show!

© 2010, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Hmm your answers are great...Happy FF! Mine is ready....

  2. My wife and I always read before bed, too.

  3. All of these books sound wonderful and like things that I would really enjoy reading!! Thanks for sharing them with us. The wish list has just gotten a little longer!!

  4. Reading before bed is the best! I'm never sleepy when I read at night, though, just when I read in the afternoon. That's when I have to guard against drowsiness. Happy reading, happy weekend, get lots of cuddles!

  5. Gengen - Thanks!

    Billy - I've found that reading before bed helps clear my mind of all the busy thoughts running through it. Happy Anniversary, by the way!

    Heather - Mine too! It'll be hard not to buy them as soon as they come out next week. I'm trying hard to be good. LOL

    Bellezza - I wish I could say the same about not being sleepy when I read at night. Maybe if I didn't have to get up so early in the morning . . .

  6. Alison Arngrim's book sounds very interesting :-)

    And I loved your answer to #6!!!

  7. Wow, some great books coming out this week! I'll have to check those out. I tend to use the library a lot. Otherwise I'd have a second mortgage and storage unit for my books. :)
    I can't read the post below this one or I'll see a spoiler. I'm saving up the Sookie books just in case Harris ends that series like she did the Grave one. I think I have the last three Sookie books all saved up for a special reading occasion.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Cuddles! Yes, that is the solution.

  9. I've been wanting to read some Scandinavian authors and a mystery is a great place to start. I'm glad I stopped by.

  10. Looks like a great group of books to look forward to. They all sound good!

  11. #6 speaks to me. I do that as often as possible since I've retired.

  12. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) Hmmm...for #6 - I would wonder if I was in an alternate universe. I can't imagine a day like that. hehe

  13. I picked up Leaving the World at BEA and it looks great. I never read Hollywood type books, but the Nellie Olsen one sounds hare to resist.

  14. Janet - I really did dislike her character on the show. I'd love to get a more personal glimpse of the person behind the character.

    Tethered Mommy - Haha! I could probably use a storage unit for all my books. :-) I hope you enjoy the Sookie books when you get to them! It's such a fun series, isn't it?

    Kristen T. - Cuddles solve a lot of problems. LOL

    Framed - There are so many good ones out there, especially in the crime fiction genre.

    Kathleen - Don't they? I won't be getting next week when they're released, but they're definitely on my wish list for the next rainy day.

    Canderson - Ah, the joys of the retired life . . . Someday I'll get there. :-)

    Kathy - I think so too!

    Crystal - Haha! I know the feeling.

    T.H. - They do, don't they? :-)

    Beth - From the sounds of it, Leaving the World does sound good. I look forward to your thoughts on it when you get to it!


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