Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wednesday Wishlist

Once again, my friends in blog-land and on LibraryThing have been flinging more book reviews out there to whet my already sated appetite. I don't think I'll even be able to read them all, but here are four that hopped right onto my TBR wishlist in the past two weeks.

Queen of the Night - J.A. Jance
I love both of Jance's other series - the J.P Beaumont and Joanna Brady ones, but I've yet to read this new one featuring Diana Ladd.  The ads I've seen for this one to be published this month, make me definitely want to correct that oversight -pronto. Publisher blurb:
In Queen of the Night, New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance brings back the Walker family—introduced in Hour of the Hunter, terrorized in Kiss of the Bees, and last seen in Day of the Dead. A multilayered thriller, gripping and unforgettable—evocatively set in the breathtaking Arizona desert—Queen of the Night is a chilling tale of murder past and present that connects and devastates three separate families.
Then there's Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard (Pub date Aug 24).  I was so impressed with her previous book  Labor Day, that I can't imagine not loving this one too.  I saw this listed in the Early Review offerings on LibraryThing, and it's one of only two that I put my hat in the ring for.
Description: They were born on the same day, in the same hospital, into families that could hardly have been less alike. Ruth is an artist and a romantic, with a rich and passionate imaginative life. Dana is a scientist and realist whose faith is firmly planted in what she can see or hear or touch. Yet these two very different women share the same struggle to make sense of their place in a world in which neither of them has ever truly felt she belonged.

Told in the alternating voices of Ruth and Dana, The Good Daughters follows these “birthday sisters” as they make their way through the decades, from the 1950s to the present. Master storyteller Joyce Maynard chronicles the unlikely ways the two women’s lives intersect—from childhood and adolescence to first loves, first sex, marriage, and parenthood; from the deaths of parents to divorce, the loss of home, and the loss of a beloved partner—until an unavoidable moment when a long-held secret from the past alters everything.
Then one of my BFs on LT came up with this one.  I love books set in New Orleans and One D.O.A, One on the Way by Mary Robison had me clicking on my library's catalog to put it on reserve like yesterday.

From the Publisher's Weekly review on Amazon:

With a laconic voice and a despairing sense of humor, film location scout Eve Broussard narrates award-winning Robison's (Why Did I Ever) grim yet witty novella about the dissolution of a family and a city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Eve and unstable-but-armed Petal are married to 42-year-old twins, Adam and Saunders, who—not unlike the two black swans forever circling the statue commemorating their sister's suicide—spin their nearly identical lives aimlessly: drinking, fretting over hepatitis C and hording cocaine in their parents' stately New Orleans mansion. This family's Big Easy is a world where lush excess and harsh deprivation work side-by-side to create a malaise sinister in its paralyzing appeal. Told in terse, numbered passages, Robison's narrative is jumpy but effective, interspersed with and informed by startling statistics (More than 50 former NOPD officers are in prison, 2 on death row). Distilled episodes of mistaken identity, marriage trouble and potential infidelity build to a crucial decision for Eve, who may be damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Now if you really want some fun, I'm betting that The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World . . . via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes will fill the bill quite nicely.  After seeing this on Shelf Awareness, I looked at the blurb, realized I'd been to many of these places, and ridden some of these conveyances, and knew I had to have this one. How could resist?
Indonesian Ferry Sinks.  Peruvian Bus Plunges Off Cliff.  African Train Attacked by Mobs.  Whenever he picked up the newspaper, Carl Hoffman noticed those short news bulletins, which seemed about as far from the idea of tourism, travel as the pursuit of pleasure, as it was possible to get.  So off he went, spending six months circumnavigating the globe on the world's worst conveyances: the statistically most dangerous airlines, the most crowded and dangerous ferries, the slowest buses, and the most rickety trains.  The Lunatic Express takes us into the heart of the world, to some its most teeming cities and remotest places: from Havana to Bogotá on the perilous Cuban Airways.  Lima to the Amazon on crowded night buses where the road is a washed-out track.  Across Indonesia and Bangladesh by overcrowded ferries that kill 1,000 passengers a year.  On commuter trains in Mumbai so crowded that dozens perish daily, across Afghanistan as the Taliban closes in, and, scariest of all, Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., by Greyhound.

The Lunatic Express is the story of traveling with seatmates and deckmates who have left home without American Express cards on conveyances that don't take Visa, and seldom take you anywhere you'd want to go.   But it's also the story of traveling as it used to be -- a sometimes harrowing trial, of finding adventure in a modern, rapidly urbanizing world and the generosity of poor strangers, from ear cleaners to urban bus drivers to itinerant roughnecks, who make up most of the world's population.  More than just an adventure story, The Lunatic Express is a funny, harrowing and insightful look at the world as it is, a planet full of hundreds of millions of people, mostly poor, on the move and seeking their fortunes.
 Edited July 7 to add link to Sophisticated Dorkiness - her excellent review is another reason to run and get this one.  Anyone for a train ride?


  1. I have actually won Queen of the Night on LT Early Reviewers and am awaiting it's arrival.
    Of course, I am still waiting for May's win too....

  2. On the blog Sophisticated Dorkiness she reviews Lunatic Express.

  3. Caite - will be anxious to see if you like it, then I'll really know whether to leave it on the wishlist.

    Page--thanks for the steer to a new blog I'd not seen before.

  4. If you didn't win Good Daughters, don't worry, I did!

    I'll put it on the pile for you after I read it.


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