Monday, April 4, 2011

Must-Read Monday: New paperbacks you should check out now!

Outside it's a dark and dreary day here in South Hadley, but inside the Odyssey, our countenances are quite sunny!  That's because we have the inside scoop on all the great new books that are out in paperback now.  Here are a few of them for you to consider:

  The Architect of Flowers: Stories by William Lychack.  There's a saying that those who have spent a lot of time in the dark have the ability to find great beauty in the smallest hints of light, and this book is a great example of this.  This slim collection of stories will introduce you to a case of delicately developed characters facing heartbreak and disappointment.  Lychack's skill is infusing the ordinary with special qualities: the softness of a summer's yellow morning light in a kitchen or the depth of a mother's longing for her adult son and what's willing to do to bring him home.  It's a rare skill and one to be savored on a quiet weekend afternoon with tea and blankets.  ~Sophia (signed copies available of this paperback original)

  A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei.  Lin Yulan, a revolutionary  and leader of the Chinese feminist movement, reluctantly returns to her homeland after a self-imposed exile for a guided tour of "the new China" with her two daughters and three granddaughters in an effort to heal their collective estrangement.  Each woman arrives in China with her own agenda, and each discovers that some secrets are simply too heavy to bear alone.  This powerful, intricately woven first novel is a meditation on grief & recovery, strength & vulnerability, and the urgency to leave one's mark on the world.  A very promising debut!  ~Emily

  The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.  This is a beautifully written story of life taking a turn for the weose.  The two characters of Alice and Mattia both have personal tragedies early on in their young lives that drastically define them and separate them from their peers.  For Alice a skiing accident forever mars her physical self-esteem.  Mattia, born a twin to her sister who is mentally retarded, is weighed down by the guilt of her sister's untimely death.  Alice and Mattia meet in high school and this is their love story.  Giordano writes with a sensitivity that is both beautiful and powerful.  ~Nieves

 Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay.  This narrative pas de deux binds Nina Revskay's mysterious past as the Bolshoi's rising young star with her reclusive present as a benefactor of the Boston arts scene.  When a rash, youthful decision based on jealousy and insecurity sets events spinning out of her control, Nina spends the rest of her life guarding a dark secret.  With this sweeping story of art, love, and Soviet politics come hints of intrigue and betrayal in a world where trust is a rare commodity and where even those with the most dazzling artistic talent cannot protect themselves against faceless accusations from Party informants.  ~Emily

1 comment:

beadmaniac said...

Read "Russian Winter" & really enjoyed it! This is a 'blockbuster' year for excellent books!!!!