After years of living in the shadows, being glorified as sparkly lovers and dangerous enemies and on TV, vampires have revealed themselves to humans. After a nasty outbreak of vampirism, thanks to a misplaced act of mercy, the world cannot ignore the lore. Infected cities are walled off from the public, called Coldtowns, these places are exquisite prisons for vampires. Humans, enthralled with the beauty and horror of vampires flock to the Coldtowns to offer their sweet red blood for the chance of being turned.
If you’re in the mood for a long book and like family histories with a supernatural twist, try The Witching Hour by Anne Rice. While the story is set in the same world as her vampire series, there are no vampires in this book. Instead, the tale of the Mayfair witches is told from their beginning several hundred years ago to the present.
When I picked up this book, I thought the title was reflective of a "good" house as opposed to a "bad" house, but actually the lead character and narrator of the novel is named Hildy Good. Hildy is a successful real estate agent in Wendover, Massachusetts, a town along Boston's north shore, where she "makes it her business to know everybody's business." She is the mother of two grown daughters and is an ex-wife to a husband who revealed to her he was gay after 20-plus years of marriage.
It doesn't take long to guess the storyline of this book, as page one takes you into a courtroom where T.J. Hill, a thirty-year old teacher, is on trial for having a sexual relationship with one of his female students. And it gets a little more interesting when the student, Morgan, enters the courtroom with her parents and proceeds to leave them behind and sit on her teacher's side.
I'm generally proud of myself when I successfully make it home after a Saturday stop at my local wholesale store, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the fantastical adventures that ensue during this run to the corner store for milk.
The Flamethrowers is set in 1975 where Reno, a 25 year old woman interested in motorcycles and art falls in love with Sandro Valero, a much older artist from an uber wealthy Italian family. The story moves between the Bonneville Salt Flats, the 1970s New York City art scene and the Years of Lead, a period of socio-political turmoil in Italy that deeply affects the Valero dynasty. I was mesmerized by the setting, the characters, the situations and the conversations. One of my favorite books of 2013.
Fans of cozy mysteries will enjoy Murder at the Altar, by Veronica Heley. The story actually begins with the climactic moment when the murderer is advancing towards Ellie. Suddenly: “Too late… The murderer took a step forward.” (p. 1)
The aliens have unleashed 4 waves of death upon humanity. The first, an electronic pulse to render all machines useless. The second, tsunamis to destroy coastal cities. The third, an avian plague called The Red Death. The fourth, Silencers, a race of humans implanted with alien intelligences as fetuses, an enemy we didn’t see coming. The 5th is upon us. Cassie, a 16 year old surviving on her own is one of the few left alive on earth. Armed with an M-16 and a teddy bear, she searches for her little brother with the hunky and mysterious Evan.
Like in his most recent work, At Home, travel and history writer Bill Bryson uses a loose premise to explore all of the quirky nooks and crannies of history with his trademark humor and insight. Bryson covers the more eventful happenings in the summer of 1927, like Charles Lindbergh's flight, the advent of flappers, and Babe Ruth's spectacular, record-breaking season, but also finds the strange bits of trivia that connect them. Did you know the Lindy Hop was originally called the Lindbergh Hop, coined after Lindbergh's fateful flight over the Atlantic?
Jennifer’s life has changed dramatically. With the discovery of an old photograph, Jennifer uncovers an aunt her mother wishes to be forgotten. Against her mother’s wishes, Jennifer ventures from the fields of Nebraska to the ocean of Maine to learn more about this mysterious aunt and the estrangement between sisters. Along the way she meets a unique and interesting cast of characters that help her to see that home is not so much a place but a feeling of the heart.