Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Meg's Picks: February 2015, part 2

Did I mention that there are lots of great new books coming out next month? I hope I did, but if I haven't, let me be clear: there are LOTS of great new books coming out next month. If you're interested in moving beyond the sure-bet bestsellers, here are a few more for you to consider.

Mr. MAC and Me, by Esther Freud. Note: This title actually got a last-minute publishing date bump and will be available on January 27, 2015. Life is quiet on the Suffolk coast in 1914 for local publican's son Thomas Maggs and his family, until the arrival of Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh, known as Mac by the locals. Wearing a black cape and puffing on a pipe, Mac seems to young Thomas to be the spitting image of a detective, just like Sherlock Holmes. Mac, along with his artist wife, are sources of wonder to Thomas, until war with Germany is declared, and suddenly everything is turned upside down. The summer guests flee the sleepy coast and are replaced by soldiers. And the unlikely friendship between Thomas and Mac is tested, as suspicion surrounding the Scottish outsider grows. Critics have been giving this quite a bit of love, so if you're in the market for something quietly detailed, this could be just what you're looking for.

A Touch of Stardust, by Kate Alcott. Alcott made a big impression with readers with her 2012 debut, The Dressmaker, about a seamstress and ladies maid who survives the sinking of the Titanic. Alcott has now turned her sights on another event of historical significance, this time taking readers behind the scenes of the filming of Gone With the Wind, specifically the romance between dashing leading man Clark Gable and free-spirited actress Carole Lombard. The production was already besieged by scandal as the producer burned through writers, directors and money trying to get the film made, and the last thing the studio wanted the press to get wind of was an affair involving the still-technically-married Gable. This should appeal to fans of the film, of historical fiction, and to film fanatics in general.

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