Title: The Evolution of Shadows
Author: Jason Quinn Malott
Publisher: Unbridled Books, October 2009
Summary: After having his heart-broken, American photographer Gray Banick travels to Bosnia and into a war zone. Gray’s interpreter Emil, and his mentor Jack, often question Gray about the girl in the picture he carries with him. They know she is the reason he is here, but do not know the story behind his heartbreak. Her name is Lian Zhao and she and Gray were very much in love. Lian, however, wasn’t strong enough to face her parent’s disapproval of Gray so she chose to marry another man. Gray has traveled to Bosnia to kill her memory, or kill himself. It is now almost 5 years since Gray disappeared, last seen by Emil in a Bosnian killing field. Lian, Emil, and Jack have met in Sarajevo to find out what happened to the man they all loved.
This debut novel brings to life the horrors of the Bosnian war and its aftermath. Smoothly fading from past to present and back again, the author tells the stories of Gray and Lian, Emil, Jack, and their families. This is a story of searching for lost loves and forgotten lives. Only when the search is over can the healing really begin. This is a fabulous story.
Who will like this book? Fans of literary fiction that can stand some descriptions of the horrors of war.
Recommended by: Sue, Circulation Coordinator
Title: The Kids are All Right: A Memoir
Authors: Diana, Liz, Dan and Amanda Welch
Publisher: Harmony, September 2009
Summary: In 1983, the four Welch children lose their beloved father in a tragic car accident, and within months their still-grieving, soap opera-star mother is diagnosed with terminal cancer. This gripping saga is emotional, poignant and hard to put down. The family lives in upper crust Bedford, New York. Their father is an investment banker who, unknown to the rest of the family, was in deep financial debt, forcing their mother to support the family. Sadly, the mother succumbs to the illness early in the story, leaving four young children in a state of shock and confusion. This is the story of these lost souls who muddle their way through a dysfunctional childhood and tumultuous teenage years.
The memoir is told in alternate voices of the four Welch children, giving each of them the opportunity to recall their own memories. The combination of despair, hurt, hope and survival makes this memoir a captivating read. I very much look forward to hearing Liz Welch tell her personal story when she visits the Fairfield Woods Branch Library on February 17 at 7:00.
Recommended by: Laurie, Branch circulation and book club leader
Title: How I Became a Famous Novelist
Author: Steve Hely
Publisher: Grove Press, July 2009
Summary: Pete Tarslaw writes for a living: He works for a slightly-shady company that rewrites entrance essays for grammar-challenged college and grad school applicants. When he learns that his college girlfriend (who betrayed him by being ambitious enough to apply to law school while he drifted through his slacker senior year) is getting married, he decides to take action. Pete sets out to become rich and famous enough to make Polly see the error of her ways – or at least really depressed at her wedding – by writing the best selling novel…ever. Pete discovers it’s not so hard to do: Just examine the best seller list and insert every last literary cliche into one story.
Poking fun at nearly every blockbuster author, the publishing industry, and the staggering entitlement of a certain segement of post-collegiate Americans, the story of the rise and fall and rise of Pete and his book, The Tornado Ashes Club will have fiction fans laughing out loud. And while he is a scoundrel, you’ll find yourself rooting for Pete in his scandalous adventures. A terrific book for the post-holiday season.
Who will like this book?: Readers (and writers) who go crazy looking at best seller lists. People who ‘don’t get’ the popularity of trash fiction authors. Fans of literary satire. Recent liberal arts college grads.
If you like this, try this: Books by Christopher Buckley (Boomsday, Thank You For Smoking) and Christopher Moore (Lamb, The Stupidest Angel.)
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian