05 June 2015

BEA 2015: Book Group Speed Dating Session Part 2

Yesterday I featured some of my favorite books from the Book Group Speed Dating session, presented by Reading Group Guides. Today I'm going to finish up my recap of that session with book club choices from four more publishers. I'm leaving off the presentation from William Morrow because I discussed their books on Monday. Ready? Here we go!

Picador USA

  • Black Man in White Coat by Damon Tweedy: the subtitle of this memoir says it all: "A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine"
  • 'Til the Well Runs Dry by Lauren Francis Sharma: fiction; spanning the mid-20th century, an assimilation story that takes place in Trinidad and the United States
Black Chalk by Christopher J. YatesBlack Chalk by Christopher J. Yates: a contemporary psychological thriller set in Oxford; a game played among a group of college freshmen spins out of control; the author is a crossword puzzle editor:
A compulsively readable psychological thriller set in New York and at Oxford University in which a group of six students play an elaborate game of dares and consequences with tragic result

It was only ever meant to be a game played by six best friends in their first year at Oxford University; a game of consequences, silly forfeits, and childish dares. But then the game changed: The stakes grew higher and the dares more personal and more humiliating, finally evolving into a vicious struggle with unpredictable and tragic results. Now, fourteen years later, the remaining players must meet again for the final round. Who knows better than your best friends what would break you? A gripping psychological thriller partly inspired by the author's own time at Oxford University, Black Chalk is perfect for fans of the high tension and expert pacing of The Secret History and The Bellwether Revivals. Christopher J. Yates' background in puzzle writing and setting can clearly be seen in the plotting of this clever, tricky book that will keep you guessing to the very end.
Ballantine Books
  • The Scent of Secrets by Jane Thynne: a paperback original; World War II-era crime novel featuring a woman who is both actress and spy, British and German; first in a trilogy
All of Us and Everything by Bridget AsherAll of Us and Everything by Bridget Asher: edgy family drama about three sisters coping with newfound information about their absent father; the author is aka Julianna Baggott (who wrote the Pure trilogy)
Life as Augusta Rockwell knows it changes once she unearths a box of old letters written by her estranged husband, Nick Flemming, the love of her life and the father her three children have never known. She's told her daughters that their absent father was actually a spy, which is why he couldn't be part of their lives. But the letters reveal that Nick has secretly been keeping tabs on his family all these years from afar-a discovery that, while shocking, has the potential to mend the fractured and wayward lives of the three Rockwell sisters.
Simon & Schuster
  • Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg: a small town copes with a local tragedy; told from multiple points of view; emotionally strong
  • The Incarnations by Susan Barker: contemporary and historical fiction; reincarnation; has elements of Chinese folk tales and literary classics
Marriage of Opposites by Alice HoffmanMarriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman: strong characters; set in the Caribbean; involves Pissarro and art; Jewish themes:
. . . [A] forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro--the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frederick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.
  • The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee: contemporary story of three women who immigrated from the United States to Hong Kong; themes include motherhood, friendship, and choices
  • Love in Lowercase by Francesc Miralles: a translation from the French; an introverted, bookish man finds his place in the greater world after he takes in a stray cat; charming
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie CopletonA Dictionary of Mutual Understanding by Jackie Copleton: a Japanese woman living in Philadelphia is confronted by a young man who claims to be her grandson; set in the mid-1980s; family secrets:
When Amaterasu Takahashi opens the door of her Philadelphia home to a badly scarred man claiming to be her grandson, she doesn't believe him. Her grandson and her daughter, Yuko, perished nearly forty years ago during the bombing of Nagasaki. But the man carries with him a collection of sealed private letters that open a Pandora's Box of family secrets Ama had sworn to leave behind when she fled Japan. She is forced to confront her memories of the years before the war: of the daughter she tried too hard to protect and the love affair that would drive them apart, and even further back, to the long, sake-pouring nights at a hostess bar where Ama first learned that a soft heart was a dangerous thing. Will Ama allow herself to believe in a miracle?


JoAnn 6/5/15, 6:45 AM  

Lots of great titles! A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding stands out as one I'd like to read.

(Diane) bookchickdi 6/5/15, 7:49 AM  

Bridget Asher's book sounds intriguing, I haven't heard of that one.

Kay 6/5/15, 8:19 AM  

I've heard good things about Black Chalk. I always am drawn to books set on a campus - college or high school.

bermudaonion 6/5/15, 9:15 AM  

It looks like we had one publisher in common - Simon & Schuster. There were so many great books presented at that panel.

Daryl 6/8/15, 9:59 AM  

i really liked the Pure series .. i will check out the Bridget Asher book for sure

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