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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Two Favorite New Novels

I have two novels I want to recommend to all of you.

If you're a Meanderings and Muses visitor, you know I have a long list of writers I love.  They're authors whose books are on my "auto-buy" list, usually pre-ordered the second I hear about them.

This year, I've been blessed with a slew of advance reading copies which has allowed me to discover some "new to me" writers, some of whom will join the list of "auto-buys."

But two, in particular, have stood out from the rest.

Gabrielle Zevin's 

This is from the author's blog:

A New York Times Best Seller, the #1 Indie Next Pick, and the #1 Library Reads Selection

In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin’s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books—and booksellers—that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds.  
On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto “No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World.” A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.
A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, but large in weight. It’s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

And - 

Natalie Lloyd's 

This is from the author's blog:

* A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
* A SIBA Okra Pick 2014
* A Junior Library Guild Selection
* A Top 10 Spring 2014 Kids Indie Next Pick

"Whimsical and bewitching ... hang on for the ride!" - New York Times Book Review

"From every angle, Lloyd's first novel sparkles and radiates warmth ... a reassuring, homespun story about self-expression and the magic that resides in one's mind and heart." - Publishers Weekly, starred review

"A delightful and inspiring debut ... As Felicity loves to say, 'Yes ... yes ... yes!'" - School Library Journal, starred review

"This tale offers all the earmarks of fine storytelling, including colorful, eccentric characters, an original, highly likable narrator and a mighty 'spindiddly' plot." - Kirkus, starred review

"In this spellbinding debut novel set in Tennessee, Felicity Juniper Pickle sees magic in the people around her, and her worldview is curiously contagious " - Shelf Awareness, starred review

"If Harper Lee had set out to write the Great American Fairy Tale, we might have gotten A SNICKER OF MAGIC a half century earlier." - The

"The appealing thing to young readers will be how real this all feels. The magical and the realistic are closely intertwined in such lyrically beautiful language that the story feels like it could happen next door, in an adjoining classroom or on their very own auditorium stage. Felicity Pickle and her friends have the perfect word for awesome. Spindiddly! That's exactly how I feel about this book." - Augusta Scattergood, The Christian Science Monitor

"Original, satisfying, and sweet as Blackberry Sunrise ice cream. Natalie Lloyd has a magical way with words." - Natalie Standiford, author of THE SECRET TREE
Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

I hope you'll give them both a try, and let me know what you think!

Happy Reading!


Lesa said...

Loved them both, Kaye! You're the one who recommended A Snicker of Magic. Thank you for that. They're both going on my list of the best of the first half of the year.

Anonymous said...

You are a gem and a real fairy godmother to so many writer. God bless you! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

Libby Dodd said...

Well done! I happened upon both of these and found them delightful!