All the Stars in the Heavens, by Adriana Trigiani. Trigiani fans are legion, whether they are long-time fans since Big Stone Gap was published back in 2000 or they're recent converts, a la 2012's best-selling The Shoemaker's Wife. Here, Trigiani brings readers back to the golden age of Hollywood, in all its resplendence, and brutality. The movie business is booming in 1935 when twenty-one-year-old Loretta Young meets thirty-four-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly. Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Becoming Miss Young's secretary, the innocent and pious young Alda must navigate the wild terrain of Hollywood with fierce determination and a moral code that derives from her Italian roots. Over the course of decades, she and Loretta encounter scandal and adventure, choose love and passion, and forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives. I'll be surprised if this new novel doesn't win even more readers over to the cult of Trigiani.
See Me, by Nicholas Sparks. Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he's determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship. Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed. A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria's lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves.
Shopaholicto the Rescue, by Sophie Kinsella. Kinsella combines levity, fashion and chick-lit into her own stellar style. Here, Becky is on a major rescue mission, when she discovers that her father has vanished from Los Angeles on a mysterious quest with her best friend’s husband. Becky’s mum is hysterical; her best friend, Suze, is desperate. Worse, Becky must tolerate an enemy along for the ride, who she’s convinced is up to no good. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Becky knows she must marshal all her trademark ingenuity. The result: her most outrageous and daring plan yet!
Golden Age, by Jane Smiley. The final entry in Smiley's Last Hundred Years trilogy (after Some Luck and Early Warning) opens in 1987 as the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political—and personal—challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before. I'd absolutely recommend these to readers who are milling about with nothing to read as they wait for the next installment of Jeffrey Archer's Clifton Chronicles.
The Lake House, by Kate Morton. I am a fan of Morton's work, and this one has earned a top spot on my October reading list. One midsummer's eve on a large estate in Cornwall, England, Alice Edevane's family hosts a beautiful party with hundreds of guests. It is only after the event is over that her family realizes that its youngest member, eleven-month-old Theo, has vanished. The family is understandably devastated, and truly never recovers. Decades later, Alice is living in London, an established children's author. When a young detective stumbles upon the old Edevane estate, long deserted, her life will collide with Alice's, and the mystery of Theo's disappearance is reexamined. Morton has a real knack for interweaving storylines across the years, and I am very eager to read this newest offering.