Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year, New Recommendations

The beginning of the new year affects different people differently.  For some, it's all about resolutions, about cleaning house, decluttering, organizing, working out, eating right.  For others, it's about relaxing and recuperating after a hectic holiday season.  And for still others, it's a time for quiet thought and contemplation.  I don't know about you, but I am a little of all three, so this month, I thought I'd share lists of books for all types.  Today's list is for the rest and relaxation types--if you just want to kick back with a good book and tune everything else out for a little while, you can't go wrong with one of these suspenseful stories.  (Don't find suspense novels relaxing?  Hang in there--I'll have more recommendations for you later this month!)

With the coming theatrical release of The Hunger Games (March of this year), parents and teens alike can't get their hands on a copy of the novel fast enough.  Don't think that because The Hunger Games and its sequels are written for teens that they don't have plenty of grown-up appeal--often, a great books is simply a great book.  Set in a future version of North America, societal control is maintained with the help of an annual televised survival competition among young people from twelve districts.  One competitor, Katniss, volunteers to take her younger sister's place, and finds her survival skills and training put to the ultimate test.  Powerfully told by author Suzanne Collins, and hugely popular.  If you're looking for a fast read with the side bonus of being in the loop when the movie fever hits, this is a great one to pick up.

The Litigators, by John Grisham.  I used to be a reader of Grisham.  Then I considered myself a fan of his early work.  The Litigators recaptures that essence of fire, with memorable characters and a plot that drags you along through the story at a brisk pace.  Finley & Figg law firm is a small-town firm pretending to be selective and prosperous.  When this ambulance-chasing duo finally gets a breath of fresh air in the form of young but burnt-out downtown lawyer David Zinc, they believe they are ready for the case of a lifetime--namely, a class-action suit against big pharma, which they think should be a breeze.  But as with all things, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and the partners get much more than they ever bargained for.  Legal drama, suspense, hugely entertaining--Grisham is back on his A-game here!

And being released today, Elizabeth George's Believing the Lie.  George, best-selling author of sixteen Inspector Lynley novels already, is gaining additional critical praise on this latest book (being released today!).  When Scotland Yard policeman Lynley is requested to investigate the apparent accidental drowning death, he sees nothing on the surface, but enlists aid from series regulars, friends Simon and Deborah St. James.  Together, the trio delve into the case only to find a number of suspects and a laundry list of motives.  George's story-telling really can't be beat, and if the critics and advance copy praise is any indication, she's outdone herself this time.

I'll be back on Thursday with more Reading Ahead titles--there are some great ones coming up!

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