Sunday, October 28, 2012

Now In Paperback - October & November Titles

Hattie's Books has the following new paperback books in stock! Stop by and check them out for yourself. 

Catherine the Great, Portrait of a Woman
by Robert K. Massie
“This is an admiring biography of the minor German princess who, through cleverness, audacity, and ambition, deposed her incompetent husband, a grandson of Peter the Great, to become Empress of Russia. An 'enlightened' autocrat, Catherine did not succeed at all she attempted, but Massie argues persuasively that she truly earned the title bestowed upon her by the Russian people. What a woman, what a book!” 
-- Arlene Cook, Watermark Book Co., Anacortes, WA 
Named One Of The Best Books Of The Year By: The New York Times • The Washington Post • USA Today • The Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle • Chicago Tribune • Newsweek/The Daily Beast • Salon • Vogue • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Providence Journal • Washington Examiner • South Florida Sun-Sentinel • BookPage • Bookreporter • Publishers Weekly 

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty 
A Novel, by Joshilyn Jackson
“The Slocumb women have the curse of having to deal with bad men and early motherhood. Mother Liza and and grandmother Jenny are doing everything in their power to make sure that 15-year-old Mosey doesn't find herself in the same predicament. Jenny unearths human bones while digging in the backyard, and with Liza too ill to explain them, Mosey decides to take it upon herself to find the answers to her family's secrets and end the curse once and for all. This is a fast-paced and enthralling read that pulls you in and won't let you go until the very end.” 
-- Morgan Kiedrowski, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI 

The Sisters
A Novel, by Nancy Jensen

“This is a powerful story of family through three generations, beginning with two sisters from a small town in Kentucky. In 1927, a tragedy and a misunderstanding separate them when they are both in their teens. We follow their stories and those of their daughters up to 2007. Jensen shows us that strong women are able to use lives cobbled together out of fear and pain as building blocks to create something resembling happiness, or at least stability. This debut novel is a page-turner with characters that remain with the reader long after the book is closed.” 
-- Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA 

When She Woke
A Novel, by Hillary Jordan

“Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, this is a stunning, suspenseful, and scary look at what happens to Hannah Payne when she is arrested and convicted of having an abortion in a futuristic America. Her punishment is to become a 'chrome,' a criminal whose skin color is genetically altered to reflect her crime. Hannah becomes a Red for the crime of murder, and she further complicates her situation by refusing to name the father of her unborn child. Once chromed, she is released and must survive as best she can. Her navigation through the perils of a hostile society launches Hannah on a journey of self-discovery and makes readers question the consequences of politicizing the personal. Jordan's characters are compelling and her pacing is flawless; I couldn't put this book down!”
-- Erica Caldwell, Present Tense, Batavia, NY 

Birds of a Lesser Paradise
Stories, by Megan Mayhew Bergman 

“Birds of a Lesser Paradise is a poignant collection of stories, each filled with vivid imagery, surprising wit, and elegant prose. My copy is filled with dog-eared pages of Bergman's brilliantly written observations on who we are and who we hope to be. She masterfully captures the fragility of human life by placing it within and against the natural world. Read these stories. You will be so thankful you did, and then you will read them again!” 
-- Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL 

The Healing 
A Novel, by Jonathan Odell 

“During the years before the Civil War, Master Ben purchases Polly Shine, a slave woman known to possess healing powers, to help 'doctor' his slaves suffering from a mysterious plague. Polly also needs to pass on her healing knowledge to the next generation and focuses on Granada, a young slave girl. Granada is not so willing to accept her gift and is not interested in learning anything from Polly. Despite Granada's impatience and resistance, Polly teaches her that the gift of healing is much more than just learning to heal.” -- Julia Barth, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX “A storytelling tour de force.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

Running the Rift 
A Novel, by Naomi Benaron 
Winner of the Bellwether Prize For Fiction 

 “Named for the Rwandan god of thunder, Jean Patrick Nkuba is destined for Olympic glory. Pushing his body up the misty hills of his village, he dreams not only of fame, but also of bringing peace to his country and equality to his Tutsi compatriots. When the floodwaters of hatred and war with the Hutu burst out over his homeland, Jean Patrick must run a different kind of race in order to survive. Both beautiful and heart-rending, horrific and hopeful, this novel carries a message that deserves to be widely read.” 
-- Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FLSacre Bleu 

A Comedy d’Art 
By Christopher Moore 

“Moore is easily the most humorous author around, but what is often missed in all the laughter is just how talented a writer he truly is. Sacre Bleu starts with the murder of Vincent van Gogh and as Lucien Lessard and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec try to track down the mysterious Colorman, Moore takes the reader on an informative tour through the Impressionist era. The research is exhaustive, the observations pungent, and the characters, both real and imagined, distinctive. Enjoy the read, but beware the wrath of Mere Lessard!” 
-- Bill Cusumano, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI 

The Wedding Quilt 
An Elm Creek Quilts Novel 
by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Written in Chiaverini's soft and gentle style, this latest in the series will appeal to quilters and non-quilters alike. Sarah has planned to make a quilt for her daughter as a wedding gift and has asked family and friends to sign blocks. Flashbacks take place as quilts, passions, traditions, struggles, and loves are remembered and shared.” -- Cheryl Kroger, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wolf Hall - Book Review

Wolf Hall - Book Review
by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall was a challenging read for the 3rd Tuesday Evening Book Club. First, it is 600 pages long. Second, it takes a serious run at rewriting the history of Thomas Cromwell and his nemisis Sir Thomas More (St. Thomas More). Third, it is written in a somewhat unusual style -- Thomas Cromwell is referred to as "he" so often as to be somewhat confusing. Fourth, unless you are a student of Tudor England, the characters can be difficult to keep up with (there are far too many Thomas' and Stephens for example!).

However, I like a challenging read and Wolf Hall certainly fits into that category. Uniformly acclaimed by critics and the winner of the Man Booker Prize in England, Hilary Mantel's first book in a trilogy turns much of what we "know" about Thomas Cromwell on it's head. Wolf Hall visits some of the same territory as The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory, but with much more style, wit and scholarship.

Mantel's Cromwell is witty, kind to his family and supremely loyal. He continues to serve Cardinal Woolsey long after he has lost Henry VIII's favor. After Woolsey's death, Cromwell manages to gain a seat in the Parliment and into Henry's court, where he loyally serves the king. Cromwell works tirelessly to help Henry gain his anulment from Katherine of Aragon so that he has a chance to bear a legitimate son in wedlock with Anne Boleyn.

This Cromwell is compellingly re-imagined by Mantel. While many in our club found this book hard to finish, those who did were rewarded with inspired writing, vividly portrayed characters and an absolutely brutal sense of the times.

Mantel gives an interview after receiving the Man Booker Prize here. Scroll down to Media to see the interview.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Bloodroot Book Review
By Amy Greene


 The flower of the Bloodroot can heal or poison depending on how it is used. The characters in this book have the same characteristic. 

Bloodroot tells of a generational cycle of love and true evil with sheer meanness having the winning hand. Set in Appalachia the book tends to pull out all of the stereotypes which are at times associated with this beautiful area. We experience the devastation of domestic violence, alcoholism and the lack of understanding between the Townies and the Mountain people. Social services are shown to be callous and unmindful of the consequences of taking children from their natural mountain environment and throwing them into the chaos of group homes.

Amy Greene is a skilled writer and we all felt that we should have liked the book more than we did.
Submitted by Diane Vaughn

Monday, October 1, 2012

Now In Paperback - September

Midnight Rising
by Tony Horowitz
A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
A Library Journal Top Ten Best Books of 2011
A Boston Globe Best Nonfiction Book of 2011

Late on the night of October 16, 1859, John Brown launched a surprise raid on the slaveholding South. Leading a biracial band of militant idealists, he seized the massive armory at Harpers Ferry, freed and armed slaves, and vowed to liberate every bondsman in America.
Brown’s daring strike sparked a savage street fight and a counterattack by U.S. Marines under Robert E. Lee. The bloodshed and court drama that followed also shocked a divided nation and propelled it toward civil war. Tony Horwitz's Midnight Rising brings Brown and his uprising vividly to life and charts America’s descent into explosive conflict. The result is a taut and indispensable history of a man and a time that still resonate in our own.


The Prague Cemetary
by Umberto Eco
The latest international bestseller from the author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum. Nineteenth-century Europe—from Turin to Prague to Paris—abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created the world’s most infamous document?
The Boy in the Suitcase
by Lene Kaaberbol
Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.
Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.

The Orchard
by Theresa Weir

The Orchard
is the story of a street-smart city girl who must adapt to a new life on an apple farm after she falls in love with Adrian Curtis, the golden boy of a prominent local family whose lives and orchards seem to be cursed. Married after only three months, young Theresa finds life with Adrian on the farm far more difficult and dangerous than she expected. Rejected by her husband's family as an outsider, she slowly learns for herself about the isolated world of farming, pesticides, environmental destruction, and death, even as she falls more deeply in love with her husband, a man she at first hardly knew and the land that has been in his family for generations. She becomes a reluctant player in their attempt to keep the codling moth from destroying the orchard, but she and Adrian eventually come to know that their efforts will not only fail but will ultimately take an irreparable toll.