Best Selling Books
Unforgettable Reads for this Summer
Summer always conjures up images of long lazy days at the beach or cottage, book in hand. Who doesn’t want that kind of summer? While not all of us can laze our days away reading, even book reviewers, we can continue that summer tradition of making a list of books we want to find the time to read this summer. Here are the books that are ranking high at Amazon in the science fiction and fantasy genre that are perfect for that summer reading list!
Brilliance by Marcus Sakey
Part spy thriller and part amazing fantasy, Sakey takes us to a fantastic world that looks almost, but not quite, like our own. Ever since 1980 a very small percentage, some say 1%, of the world population has been born with some odd but very interesting abilities. There is the young girl in Wyoming who can tell what your deepest secrets are by the way you fold your arms. Then a run on the stock market reveals another one of what are becoming known as “brilliants” who it turns out sees patterns in the stock market that allows him to predict its path.
Among these eccentric but shining mutants is Nick Cooper. He is a federal agent whose brilliant talent is finding terrorists. Now he is hunting a man thought to be the most dangerous man alive, a man who will make him rethink his own moral code. Can he betray all that he is to stop him? Brilliance is dazzling, page-turning and gripping, while at the same time thought-provoking. No wonder everyone is talking about this book!
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card
In a future where the planet is struggling to find a solid defense against vicious alien attacks, the government’s solution is to breed children who will become the geniuses of the battlefield. But when Ender Wiggens is not chosen to be part of the Elite Training Corp, he is instead sent to the orbiting Battle School. It is there that he emerges as a leader, respected and yet isolated from family and friends.
In addition, there is huge pressure to succeed and tremendous fear of another alien invasion. It is a deadly combination. Some wonder if he is the general they need, but he has two brothers who together will make a deadly and dangerous team. Can earth survive their brilliance and determination though?
Winner of the Hugo and the Nebula, this was a huge hit for Card, who has already proven he knows how to write for the rest of us. It remains the only novel to have won both these awards in the same year. This 20th Anniversary Edition is well worth diving into if you haven’t read this now sci-fi classic.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Well, Neil has been busy with kid’s books and movies, so he can be forgiven if it has been ten years since he last wrote a book for us adults. I say, it is well worth the wait. The story is pretty much told from the viewpoint of our main character, who is a seven year old boy, who stumbles onto a secret. A family lives near his in a somewhat rural part of England. They are not quite human but entirely enchanting. When a boarder at their home sets a series of events in motion, creatures both dangerous and unearthly make an appearance, though the adults seem somehow unconcerned.
This is a magical tale told only as Gaiman can tell them, of a young boy’s adventure one summer. The boy’s crossing into a mystic world as he struggles to come to terms with what he has learned about the world and himself is like a modern folk tale. In fact, it reminds me a great deal of the old folk tales that we know Gaiman is so fond of. A book that began as a simple short story he couldn’t get out of his head ended as an endearing little novel that can be read and enjoyed by just about any age.
Futureland by Walter Mosley
Mosley is perhaps better known as a mystery writer, but it is evident from this collection of stories that he has a long time love of science fiction. Here we have nine short stories, all connected in that they portray a world we may well be descending into at this point. The stories all look at the dirty underside of the technological world, in particular from the vantage point of the poor, the working class and the underdog.
Darker than cyberpunk, these stories explore the world of the future where a man can sell his organs so his brilliant nephew can succeed, where a drug has been created that allows us to access vivid fantasy worlds so completely we don’t care that using it is destroying our brain. We visit a prison where the secrets of how it is run is so terrifying no one can even whisper the truth. Welcome to the world of the future – welcome to Futureland!
Cloak & Silence (The League) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
If you have been following this series, my guess is you have been waiting for this one. Kenyon is one of the top writers when it comes to paranormal adventure, and this is one of her best series to date. This time around we follow the story of Maris, one of the finest soldiers ever produced and yet completely isolated after he helps his best friend be reunited with his true love.
Now, Maris must find himself, and when he does it is a surprise. If you have trouble with a truly well written love story between two strong men, you might want to look elsewhere. All I can say is, this book is amazing for its adventurous portrayal of what, for fantasy, is a rare romance story. The League is one of those in-depth adventure series that have all the right elements, great story, believable characters and interwoven plots that keep you coming back for it, book after book.
Best Selling Books for Spring 2012
There are tons of great books out there for many of our readers and this spring is no exception. It must have been a dreary winter, because it just seems that many of out favorite authors have a new book coming out this spring. Here are just a few great spring reads that we recommend you check out now:
Defending Jacob: A Novel by William Landay
More than just your ordinary legal thriller, this is a story that explores the often tenuous territory that comes with being a human being, and part of a family, as well as part of the legal system. In Defending Jacob, we follow the struggle that district attorney Andy Barber has when his son Jacob is accused of murder. Award winning author William Landay takes us through the twisted path that Barber must follow as he begins with a firm belief that his son must be innocent as her proclaims, and then discovers that the son he thought he knew may be a stranger in more ways than one. A classic struggle that calls into questions loyalties and truth and threatens to destroy his marriage and his belief in his own vision of justice.
TheWind Through the Keyhole – A Dark Tower novel by Stephen King
The master returns to the fantasy realm of Mid-World. This time around we join Roland Deshain as he entertains his coharts with two tales from his past while they shelter from a gale outside. The first tale involves Roland's early years as a gunslinger right after his mother's death. In the tale within a tale, the teenage Roland comforts a young boy who is the sole survivor of a shape-shifter's attack by recounting a tale his mother had often told him: The Legend of Tim Stoutheart. It is this tale within a tale that takes this novel into a new realm of fantasy.
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
The thrilling sequel to Harkness's amazing debut novel A Discovery of Witches, this book picks up right where we left off in the adventures of Oxford scholar and witch Diana Bishop. She once again is united with her reluctant partner vampire and geneticist Matthew to discover the secrets of a long lost manuscript called the Ashmole 782. With spies around every corner and the School of Night alumni such as Walter Raleigh and Christopher Marlowe on hand to help, Diana continues her search for a witchcraft tutor and Matthew must put old history to bed at last.
Best Selling Books – Fall of 2011
There are always a handful of books that seem to shine each year, and I would say that these are a few of the best. They are all on the New York Times Bestseller List, but even more importantly, they represent some of the best writing fiction has to offer. Enjoy!
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
"Everyone wanted to believe that endless love was possible. She'd believed in it once, too, back when she was eighteen."
In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply, irrevocably in love. Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for one another seemed to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Carolina. But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.
Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for the funeral of Tuck Hostetler, the mentor who once gave shelter to their high school romance. Neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their lives. As Amanda and Dawson carry out the instructions Tuck left behind for them, they realize that everything they thought they knew -- about Tuck, about themselves, and about the dreams they held dear -- was not as it seemed. Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers will discover undeniable truths about the choices they have made. And in the course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead: Can love truly rewrite the past?
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
It’s the early 1980s—the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels.
As Madeleine tries to understand why “it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth-century France,” real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead—charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy—suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old “friend” Mitchell Grammaticus—who’s been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange—resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate.
Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology Laboratory on Cape Cod, but can’t escape the secret responsible for Leonard’s seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love.
Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.
Snuff: A Novel of Discworld by Terry Pratchett
Once again we return to Pratchett’s marvelous invention Discworld, a universe remarkably similar to our own. From sports to religion, politics to education, science to capitalism, and everything in between, Pratchett has skewered sacred cows with both laughter and wisdom, and exposed our warts, foibles, and eccentricities in a unique, entertaining, and ultimately serious way.
At long last, Lady Sybil has lured her husband, Sam Vimes, on a well-deserved holiday away from the crime and grime of Ankh-Morpork. But for the commander of the City Watch, a vacation in the country is anything but relaxing. The balls, the teas, the muck—not to mention all that fresh air and birdsong—are more than a bit taxing on a cynical city-born and -bred copper.
Yet a policeman will find a crime anywhere if he decides to look hard enough, and it’s not long before a body is discovered, and Sam—out of his jurisdiction, out of his element, and out of bacon sandwiches (thanks to his well-meaning wife)—must rely on his instincts, guile, and street smarts to see justice done. As he sets off on the chase, though, he must remember to watch where he steps. . . . This is the countryside, after all, and the streets most definitely are not paved with gold.
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.
True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.
Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.
Best Selling Books for October October 23rd
Here are the best selling hardcover books for the week ending October 23, 2009:
THE LOST SYMBOL, by Dan Brown
Professor Robert Langdon is back with another complex but completely engrossing mystery on his hands. As with previous Da Vinci books, this one also contains an ancient ritual as well as a couple of big secrets. Great reading for Dan Brown fans!
A TOUCH OF DEAD, by Charlaine Harris
This book contains a compilation of Sookie Stackhouse short stories found in previously published anthologies. It's great that they've bundled all of the stories together into one book! This book (and other Sookie Stackhouse books) have been on the best selling books list for several weeks.
THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
Eugenia Phelan, an aspiring writer, returns home from college and decides to write about the experiences of the black maids in her Jacksonville, Mississippi community. What she discovers will shock and amaze readers as we discover, along with Eugenia, thehypocrisies that these brave women have to endure in the 1962 South. Great reading!
THE PROFESSIONAL, by Robert B. Parker
Private investigator Spenser gets an interesting case from a local lawyer: four of her wealthy female clients have all had affairs with the same man. The guy in question is now blackmailing them by threatening to tell their husbands. Spenser is asked to track this guy down and "persuade" him to back off.
But things get complicated when some of the women start turning up dead. This is a classic Robert B. Parker detective noir book which has enough suspense to keep the mystery thriller junkies satisfied from start to finish.
THE LAST SONG, by Nicholas Sparks
Seventeen year old Ronnie is forced to suffer what believes will be her greatest nightmare: live with her father during the summer in Wrightsville Beach, NC. She's been angry with her father ever since her parents divorced and her father moved away from New York and headed south to pursue his craft.
Slowly but surely Ronnie learns several life lessons about commitment, forgiveness and redemption. This book is beautifully written; I'm getting goose bumps just writing about it. It's one of those books that will stay with you months if not years after reading it. This was my first book by Nicholas Sparks but it definitely won't be my last.
Fables: Deluxe Edition Vol. 1
Best Selling Graphic Novels
Here are the best selling graphic novels on the New York Times Bestsellers List for the week ending October 23, 2009:
1. BLOOM COUNTY: THE COMPLETE LIBRARY, VOL. 1, by Berkeley Breathed
2. FABLES: DELUXE EDITION, VOL. 1, by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham
3. ABSOLUTE PROMETHEA, VOL. 1, by Alan Moore and J. H. Williams
4. BATMAN: CACOPHONY, by Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan
5. THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young
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