Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fall/Winter Reading List or BOOKS I MUST HAVE

For me, the official start of Fall is October 1. Before that date, I still hold on to summer with a white-knuckled grip and persist in wearing flip-flops to the grocery store or driving down the road barefooted. But with the coming of October 1, I give into the red leaves and settle down to enjoy long-sleeved t-shirts and blue jeans (still hate socks though). Bon fires, apple cider (with rum in it of course!), pumpkins, football and looking forward to the first night we can light a bundle of logs in the fireplace. Unfortunately for those of us in Central Illinois, fall only lasts a few weeks and soon enough snow starts to fly. But until then, I can imagine myself in some fictional New England town and take delight in the creepy sensation that the really wild-haired woman down the street MIGHT be a witch. Or perhaps I am the witch. This year I havent decided yet.

With October 1 comes another celebrated event: The creation of my Fall/Winter Reading List. This year the pickings are a little thin but that will not diminish my enjoyment in devouring these books while bright fall sunshine filters through the yellow leaves on the maple outside my window or on those gray days when you spot the first falling flakes of snow. So without further ado, the list.

The second half of Quinn's Wyndham Duke pairings, this book promises to be even better than the first (a hard thing to accomplish, let me assure you). Thomas Cavendish has spent his whole life in preparation of becoming the next Duke of Wyndham. Amelia Willoughby, daughter of a viscount, has spent her entire life preparing to become Thomas' wife (an arrangement made at her birth). But now Thomas has come to the hard conclusion that someone else is, in fact, the duke and Amelia herself, in love with Thomas, has decided she can wait no longer. 

What's exciting about this book is that it's events mirror The Lost Duke of Wyndham, only from the perspective of Thomas and Ameila. I'm really looking forward to seeing how Quinn (a most gifted storyteller) can make the same scenes I just read in Lost Duke interesting without seeming redundant. I have complete faith in her. Due on October 13. Oh, and doesn't it have the most compelling cover? Look! A romance novel without a bare-chested man and bodice straining woman that STILL manages to be sensual. 

Due out December 4 (just in time for Christmas) is a set of five fairy tales from the creator of Harry Potter. The reviews state that the tales are a mixture of Grimm's Brothers and Aesop Fables. Because I plan on buying this without really knowing anything about the book, let's let Amazon give you a brief overview:

"... tales reveals a lesson befitting children and parents alike: the strength gained with a trusted friendship, the redemptive power of love, and the true magic that exists in the hearts of all of us. Rowling's new introduction also comments on the personal lessons she has taken from the Tales, noting that the characters in Beedle's collection "take their fates into their own hands, rather than taking a prolonged nap or waiting for someone to return a lost shoe," and "that magic causes as much trouble as it cures."

But the true jewel of this new edition is the enlightening and comprehensive commentary (including extensive footnotes!) by Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, who brings his unique wizard's-eye perspective to the collection. Discovered "among the many papers which Dumbledore left in his will to the Hogwarts Archives," the venerable wizard's ruminations on the Tales allow today's readers to place them in the context of 16th century Muggle society, even allowing that "Beedle was somewhat out of step with his times in preaching a message of brotherly love for Muggles" during the era of witch hunts that would eventually drive the wizarding community into self-imposed exile. In fact, versions of the same stories told in wizarding households would shock many for their uncharitable treatment of their Muggle characters."

Can I do much more than that? This Muggle cannot wait! 

It Happened One Night ~ Stephanie Laurens, Mary Balough, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Candice Hern

An anthology (I love anthologies ... if one story is bad, you still have 3 or 4 more to make up for it) about four very lovely, very proper young misses stranded at an inn, far away from the prying eyes of proper society. And of course, four very handsome, very heroic heroes happen upon this inn. In each story our lovely young misses face the man "who got away". Without the restrictions of society bearing down upon them. What will happen? Available now.

Not completely positive but judging from the cover I assume this is a Christmas anthology. Bonus! 

Just as a side note, Candice Hern has a wonderful website with tons of information for all you aspiring Regency romance writers out there. 

A Bride by Christmas ~ Heather Graham, Jo Beverley, Candance Camp

Here's another Christmas anthology. Nothing gets my attention whilst wandering Borders in October quicker than a Christmas anthology. Especially a WESTERN Christmas anthology. For the most part, Western romances are formula stories but the formula isn't what makes the story, the characters do. I'm just a little wary because I haven't read anything by any of these authors but I am willing to give it a go. I'm a sucker for Christmas stories. Out today. 

The Magic of Christmas ~ Carolyn Davidson, Victoria Bylin, Cheryl St. John

Hmmm ... I realize now I have a lot of Christmas anthologies to go through. This is not a problem. This is a good thing. Except ... as it gets closer and closer to Christmas I seem to have less and less time. THEN there's the little thing I run into when I am suppose to be wrapping presents and find myself picking up these little babies instead. Once I even wrapped a book I was reading without noticing. I only realized the next day when I went hunting for it. 

I adore Davidson who, through Harelquin, has made quite a name for herself as a Western Queen. And you can never go wrong with St. John. I have not read anything by Victoria Bylin but hey, with two good authors on the cover, I bet she has something great to offer. 

The stories in this anthology deal mostly with finding your way home or finding a new home. These are my favorite kind of Christmas stories because who has been given a greater gift than the gift of love, acceptance and a feeling of belonging? Plus, all the men wear cowboy hats. This is a no brainer. And despite the too-sweet cover, it still gives me a little giddy thrill in my heart to look at it. Out now. 

If you want more Christmas Anthologies, or just a Christmas story check out:

Snowy Night With a Stranger ~ Jane Feather, Sabrina Jeffries, Julia London 
One Candlelit Christmas ~ Julia Justiss, Annie Burrows, Terri Brisbin
A Seduction at Christmas ~ Cathy Maxwell

Two more to go. Unfortunately, I haven't mastered the art of putting in pictures so while I got those in (lucky books), the last two will have to go without visuals. 

Heart and Soul ~ Maeve Binchy

Binchy is an auto-buy for me. I have one tiny complaint though in that her last 4 or 5 books have been contemporaries. I find her most interesting books to be set in 1950s/60s Ireland. Anyway, this book, due out in February '09, features a female doctor battling her unruly adult daughters and an ex husband while trying to run an unfunded medical clinic. The clinic features a cast of characters including a Polish girl escaping a bad relationship, a young male doctor with a "special touch", a physical therapist, a annoyingly cheerful nurse and a superb office manager who has difficulties handling her private life. Anyone who has read Circle of Friends, Echoes, or The Glass Lake, will have no trouble in picking up this sure-to-be gem. 

Give Me A Cowboy ~ Linda L. Broday, Jodi Thomas, Dewanna Pace, Phyliss Miranda

Remember what I said about Christmas anthologies that were Westerns? Same deal if they aren't Christmas-themed. It has men with cowboy hats, I'm reading it. Due out in January '09. Again, auto-buy for Jodi Thomas. I haven't heard of the other three but they have a very good chance to pick up a new reader if I like any of the stories. 

1 comment:

annie burrows said...

loved the anecdote about wrapping the book you were reading! I must confess, I've sometimes bought a book for someone as a present, and dipped into it while I was supposed to be wrapping it...and ended up devouring the whole thing!
hope you enjoy "One Candlelit Christmas" anthology,
Annie Burrows