Thursday, June 12, 2014

Meg's Picks: July 2014, part 1

One of the questions I get asked the most is: Meg, what are you reading?  And that's very often followed by:  What would you recommend?  Since I always have a list of titles I can't wait to read, and another of books that I think will be quite popular (and might also want to read), I love to share those here.  Here are some of the new titles I'm eying for next month!

The Fortune Hunter, by Daisy Goodwin.  Goodwin earned herself quite a few fans with her 2011 debut, American Heiress, a turn-of-the-last-century novel about a young woman of privilege who finds herself married to the most eligible bachelor in England, only to find her fairy-tale marriage isn't what she dreamed of, at all.  Here, Goodwin returns with another historical novel, this time about the public life and private longings of Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known to friends as Sisi, who finds both royal life and her marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph unfulfilling.  In her attempt to live a life less royal, however, she finds herself mixed up in a love triangle that could spell disaster for everyone involved.  This sounds gorgeous and decadent.

The Girls from Corona Del Mar, by Rufi Thorpe.  A debut being billed by critics as "astonishing", "fiercely beautiful", and "staggeringly honest", this novel is about the friendships forged in youth, and how those bonds either break or go stronger as they are tested over time by loss, illness, parenthood and distance.  I'm intrigued, and I hope to see my book club reading this one later this year.

The Sweet Spot, by Stephanie Evanovich.  After making a splash last year with her debut, Big Girl Panties, Evanovich returns with a follow-up novel about everyone's favorite couple from the first book: handsome pro-baseball player Chase Walker and his sassy wife, Amanda.  It wasn't exactly love at first sight, and who doesn't like a love story that doesn't have a few bumps in the road?  Perfectly fluffy summer fun.

One Plus One, by Jojo Moyes.  How good is Moyes?  So good that even two years later, her break-out hit, Me Before You, still has a request list!  We just can't keep it on the shelves, it's that good!  So you'll definitely want to get in early for her new novel, an irresistible love story about a single mom of two--a teenage son who's being bullied, and a math-whiz daughter who has the opportunity of a lifetime...that Jess can't afford to pay for.  Cue the least-likely knight in shining armor ever: Ed, the annoying, dweeby tech millionaire whose vacation house Jess happens to clean.  If you've read Moyes before, you've learned to expect the unexpected--I have no doubt this will be the same kind of page-turner. 

Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty.  I've been a fan of Aussie author Moriarty since I read The Hypnotist's Love Story a couple of years ago, and readers have been clamoring for her last novel, The Husband's Secret.  So it should come as no surprise that I'm waving the flag for her newest offering, Big Little Lies.  Three women, each at a crossroads.  One trying to be the best parent possible while seething over her ex and his new wife, who have moved into her community.  Another finds herself unwilling to pay the high personal price for a coveted public position.  And a third is new to town, young, and about to mix things up in their small town.  Sometimes, it's the little lies that are the most lethal.  Intrigued?  Me, too!

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