06 June 2014

BEA 2014 Book Group Speed Dating Sesson: Part 2

Yesterday, I introduced you to one of my favorite BEA sessions—Book Group Speed Dating, presented by Reading Group Guides—and talked about the books presented by Bloomsbury USA, Henry Holt, Grove Atlantic, and Hachette Book Group. Today, I cover the remaining three publishers who visited my table.

To recap: During the session, representatives from the major publishing companies and imprints present their top recommendations for readers looking for the perfect book club selection. Here are the books I learned about (with my summary) and my top pick from each presentation (with the publisher's summary).

Penguin Group USA

  • The Killer Next Door by Alex Marwood: mystery/thriller; the six residents of a boarding house all harbor secrets, but one of them is also a killer; which of group has been chosen to be the next victim?
  • On Such a Full Sea by Chang-Rae Lee: dystopian; a woman leaves the safety of her government-protected city to search for her missing lover and discovers what life is like in the wilds of America.
  • The Look of Love by Sarah Jio: contemporary fiction/fantasy; a young woman, born on Christmas Day, has the ability to see love; what happens when she falls for a pragmatic scientist?
  • Mrs. Lincoln's Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini: historical fiction; the relationship between Mary Todd Lincoln and Kate Chase, daughter of 1864 presidential hopeful Salmon P. Chase.
The Ship of Brides by Jojo Moyes: historical fiction; based on the true story of the author's grandparents; after World War II, 650 Australian war brides crossed the oceans to the UK to join their soldier husbands. From the publisher's summary:
1946. World War II has ended and all over the world, young women are beginning to fulfill the promises made to the men they wed in wartime.

In Sydney, Australia, four women join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England—aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. Rules are strictly enforced, from the aircraft carrier’s captain down to the lowliest young deckhand. But the men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, the complicated young woman whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted—forever.
  • Dark Aemilia by Sally O'Reilly: historical fiction; in Queen Elizabeth's England Aemilia Bassano is the daughter of a musician and a poet in her own right who draws the eye of both the queen and Shakespeare.
  • The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman: contemporary (literary) fiction; dating and love in the twenty-first century; the hardback original garnered much critical acclaim.
  • Someone by Alice McDermott: historical fiction; a woman navigates the changing atmosphere of her Brooklyn home from her prewar youth to the bright new world of the 1950s.
Lookaway, Lookaway by Wilton Barnhardt: family saga, southern fiction; Jerene Jarvis Johnston contends with unruly children, a dwindling fortune, and her precarious place in Charleston society. From the publisher's summary:
Steely and formidable, Jerene Jarvis Johnston sits near the apex of society in contemporary Charlotte, North Carolina, where old Southern money and older family skeletons meet the new wealth of bankers, land speculators, and social climbers. Jerene and her Civil War reenactor husband, Duke, have four adult children—sexually reckless real estate broker Annie; earnest minister Bo; gay-but-don’t-tell-anyone Joshua; and naive, impressionable college freshman Jerilyn. Jerene’s brother, Gaston, is an infamously dissolute novelist and gossip who knows her secrets and Duke’s; while her sister, Dillard, is a reclusive prisoner of her own unfortunate choices. When a scandal threatens the Johnston family’s status and dwindling finances, Jerene swings into action . . . and she will stop at nothing to keep what she has and preserve her legacy. Wilton Barnhardt's Lookaway, Lookaway is a headlong, hilarious narrative of a family coming apart on the edge of the old South and the new, and an unforgettable woman striving to hold it together.
Simon & Schuster
  • A Sudden Light by Garth Stein: coming-of-age story set in 1990s coastal Washington State (includes a ghost); a fourteen-year-old boy tries to save his parents' marriage and protect a seemingly abandoned estate from being logged.
  • Juliet's Nurse by Lois Leveen: historical fiction; a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet told from the point of view of Juliet's personal maid
  • Before I Go by Colleen Oakley: issue-driven women's fiction; when a young women is diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, she is determined to find her husband a new wife.
  • Henna House by Nomi Eve: historical fiction; based on true events; in the 1920s, orphaned Jewish children in Yemen were required to be adopted by Muslim families and convert; as her parents' health begins to fail, a young woman is faced with life-altering choices
We Are Not Ourselves by Matthew Thomas: historical fiction, family saga; follows an Irish family from immigration after the war through to the twenty-first century; themes include ambition, marriage, and the American Dream. From the publisher's summary:
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.

When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she's found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn't aspire to the same . . . stakes in the American Dream. . . .

Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art. . . .
Check back on Monday when I talk about what's hot from the HarperCollins imprints.


JoAnn 6/6/14, 7:51 AM  

Four of these titles are on my wish list. Jojo Moyes is a must-read, as is Alice McDermott. I started Lookaway, Lookaway and thought the writing was wonderful, but had to return it to the library. And We Are Not Ourselves sounds wonderful, too.

rhapsodyinbooks 6/6/14, 8:03 AM  

Just finished the Thomas book last night. Very very impressive.

bermudaonion 6/6/14, 9:02 AM  

We had a few of the same people come to our tables.

The Relentless Reader 6/6/14, 9:49 AM  

A lot of great looking books on this list! Lookaway, Lookaway is FANTASTIC. Loved that book :D

Nomi 6/6/14, 10:13 AM  

Hi Beth, I am the author of Henna House. Feel free to contact me via Facebook (Nomi Eve, Author) if you want to chat about the book. Happy reading, and have a great day, Nomi

Daryl 6/6/14, 10:38 AM  

oh my more candy .. tho i know for sure Jojo Moyes will be read, i love her writing .. Look Away looks look too ... thank you as always for all these peeks into yummy treats

Serena 6/6/14, 10:55 AM  

Wow, that's a lot of great sounding books!

Unknown 6/6/14, 11:39 AM  

Some great books here! I have just started Jojo Moyes book that publishes in July, she's a lovely writer!! I still have Lookaway, Lookaway in HC and have to read it. I met the author last year and his reading and talk were amazing! Great recap, adding more books...thanks:)

Vicki 6/6/14, 4:09 PM  

So many new to me authors. I'll have to check them out!

CLM 6/6/14, 10:37 PM  

Ship of Brides isn't new but perhaps Penguin is reissuing it due to Moyes' subsequent success; I listened to it on audio several years ago driving to Cape Cod, crying silently at the sad parts. The pace is slow but I really enjoyed it.

thecuecard 6/17/14, 11:35 AM  

Thanks for the overview of BEA Parts 1 & 2. A lot of interesting books coming out. Glad to see another JoJo Moyes and Garth Stein. Fall should be full. cheers.

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