Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Meg's Picks: October 2014

Small but mighty is the name of the game when it comes to my list of picks for October. My list of things to read grows longer by the minute, it seems, but these are three titles I am particularly interested in getting my hands on next month.

The Book of Strange New Things, by Michael Faber. This author's name might sound familiar--he wrote 2002's extremely popular historical novel The Crimson Petal and the White (which was also made into an excellent BBC miniseries in 2011). And Faber is not one to rest on his laurels: his latest novel is actually being called his "second masterpiece" and "genre-defying". So, fellow readers, pay attention. Peter is a man devoted to his faith, and he has been called to participate in a mission of a lifetime, one which will take him galaxies away from his beloved wife, Bea. He explores a new environment, comes into contact with a seemingly friendly native population which is suffering from a dangerous disease--they are eager for Peter's teachings and call his Bible their "book of strange new things." Yet Peter is disturbed when Bea's letters from home become increasingly frantic, describing natural disasters, crumbling governments, chaos. Now he is torn between his work and mission, and there are no easy answers. I find Faber's writing style mesmerizing, so I am definitely intrigued by his new novel.

Ruth’s Journey, by Donald McCaig. McCaig (Rhett Butler's People) returns to the characters of Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind, this time with the first-ever prequel to one of the most beloved, bestselling American novels in history. Here, readers get the story of Ruth, known to Scarlett as Mammy, from her childhood as a slave girl to the outbreak of the Civil War. McCaig has been authorized by Mitchell's estate to write this work, particularly because of his attention to detail and his loyalty to the original novel and its characters. For fans of Gone With the Wind, Rhett Butler's People, The House Girl, The Kitchen House, and others in the genre, this is a must-read.

A Vision of Fire, by Gillian Anderson & Jeff Rovin. A first sci-fi thriller novel from the iconic X-Files actress and best-selling author Rovin. Renowned child psychologist Caitlin O’Hara is a single mom trying to juggle her job, her son, and a lackluster dating life. Her world is suddenly upturned when Maanik, the daughter of India’s ambassador to the United Nations, starts speaking in tongues and having violent visions. But this is far from an isolated incident. In Haiti, a student claws at her throat, drowning on dry land. In Iran, a boy suddenly and inexplicably sets himself on fire. Caitlin must race across the globe to uncover the mystical links among these seemingly unrelated incidents in order to save her patient—and perhaps the world. I'm particularly recommending this to fans of Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child.

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