My goodness! So many books have come out recently that it’s hard to keep track, but I wanted to mention a few that I’m looking forward to reading.
In Depression-era Key West, Mariella Bennet, the daughter of an American fisherman and a Cuban woman, knows hunger. Her struggle to support her family following her father’s death leads her to a bar and bordello, where she bets on a risky boxing match…and attracts the interest of two men: world-famous writer, Ernest Hemingway, and Gavin Murray, one of the WWI veterans who are laboring to build the Overseas Highway.
This book has blurbs from Jenna Blum, Caroline Leavitt, Dawn Tripp, Sarah McCoy, and several other women’s fiction writers, and was praised by Publisher’s Weekly and tons of bloggers. Plus, Erika is sweet and warm and funny, an author worth supporting. I’m not even a big fan of Hemingway—though Erika might kick my ass for saying so—but it sounds great and the internet is abuzz with rave reviews from readers I trust. If you like love stories, historical fiction, stormy Key West imagery, and duh, Hemingway, you should check out this book.
In the satirical tradition of Catch-22 and M*A*S*H, Fobbit takes us into the chaotic world of Baghdad’s Forward Operating Base Triumph. The Forward Operating base, or FOB, is like the back-office of the battlefield – where people eat and sleep, and where a lot of soldiers have what looks suspiciously like an office job. Male and female soldiers are trying to find an empty Porta Potty in which to get acquainted, grunts are playing Xbox and watching NASCAR between missions, and a lot of the senior staff are more concerned about getting to the chow hall in time for the Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood special than worrying about little things like military strategy.
Darkly humorous and based on the author’s own experiences in Iraq, Fobbit is a fantastic debut that shows us a behind-the-scenes portrait of the real Iraq war.
Fobbit was praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, Kirkus, and tons of other media outlets online and in print, including TIME! David is kind and generous, and runs a great blog for writers and readers called The Quivering Pen, where he posts reviews and updates from the book world, as well as features from guest authors about their “first time” experiences in the industry, and yesterday, a nice thank-you post on his book’s birthday. It’s especially great to support authors who invest so much time in supporting the world of writing. Fobbit is definitely on my to-read list. Go get your copy of what Publisher’s Weekly called “an instant classic.”
The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby released yesterday, too. This book was a Library Journal Editor’s Pick, praised by Kirkus, LA Review, and lots of other media sources, and sounds just lovely: “This is a bewitching tale of lives entangled in lushly layered fables of the moon and the sea.” I read the first few pages online and had to stop before I got too into it. I can’t wait for my copy to arrive!
The Salt God’s Daughter by Ilie Ruby is the story of a loss of innocence as told by Ruthie and Naida, a mother and daughter who are forever changed by violence, by family mysteries, by towering acts of love. In an oceanic wilderness where identity is as changeable as the ocean, they face the rites of passage necessary to endure and find in themselves a strength and connection that survive the ages. Theirs is a story that brings to light the primal divinity of the isolated, the marginalized and of those bonded by blood and myth as seen through a lens of transcendent beauty. A stunning, raw, evolutionary tale about the ties that bind, and how far we’ll go to save the ones we love.
Yesterday was also—see, I told you a bunch of books came out recently!—the paperback release of Nancy Bilyeau‘s The Crown, a historical thriller with big raves from Entertainment Weekly, Redbook, and O, Oprah’s magazine: “the real draw of this suspenseful novel is its juicy blend of lust, murder, conspiracy, and betrayal.”
And, finally, last week, Barbara Claypole White‘s The Unfinished Garden burst into the world. I love the tagline for this book: A love story about grief, OCD, and dirt. I think I might be most excited about this one since I have some mild OCD issues of my own (as if you haven’t noticed my anxiety from earlier posts), and I love gardening, and I love Barbara’s attitude toward both of those things. Plus, I just keep hearing how much everyone loves Tilly. I think we’re all in for a treat with this book: “The Unfinished Garden is a mesmerizing tale of fear, loss, and love. Tilly and James are richly drawn and wonderfully flawed characters who embody the contradictions and imperfections that exist in all of us. Barbara Claypole White has created a novel as beautiful and complex, dark and light, sweet and sensuous as Tilly’s beloved garden.” – Joanne Rendell.
I know there are a ton of books released every day, but I hope you’ll check these out. There are, of course, a ton more on my radar as well, but it seemed like this little pack of novels—and their authors—were worthy of a shout out. When you’ve read them, report back and let me know what you thought! My TBR list is a mile-high, but I will do the same. Happy reading!