Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reading Ahead: November 2015, part 3

As the days cool and our thoughts turn to things like warm sweaters, comfort food, and *gulp* holiday shopping, the shelves at the library start to fill with books made for chilly afternoons and a cup of tea. Here are a few to choose from next month.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom. Mitch Albom's work takes a small departure from his usual slim volumes of inspirational stories; this latest is over 500 pages, though still full of inspiration. Frankie Presto, the greatest guitar player in history, changes six lives with his talent over the course of his career, which is an amazing tour through the music of the 20th century, winding through genres and decades. At the peak of his popularity, understanding the effect his music is having on people, he disappears for years, his legend growing in his absence. It is only to change that final, sixth person that he returns. A tale of magic, music and history--Albom's fans with adore this.

The Japanese Lover, by Isabelle Allende. For readers who enjoy a sweeping epic saga with a good love story, Allende's new novel should not be missed. As the Nazis advance on Poland in 1939, Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live with relatives in San Francisco. There, she falls in love with the family's Japanese gardner, only to have him torn from her as he, along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, is imprisoned in an internment camp. Throughout the years, they are reunited again and again, but their love remains a secret, one only told as Alma nears the end of her days. Allende (The House of the Spirits, Daughter of Fortune, etc.) is known for her vivid storytelling--this is high on my list of things to read this winter.

The Mistletoe Inn, by Richard Paul Evans. This, the second in Evans's Mistletoe series (following 2014's The Mistletoe Promise), is a lesson in living up to potential and learning to live and love fearlessly. Kimberly Rossetti, at 32, has a long road of heartbreak behind her, and cannot face the prospect of being alone for the holidays. Instead, she signs up for a writer's retreat in Burlington, VT, a conference which features a lecture by the author who made Kimberly want to write in the first place. It's there, exploring her craft, that she opens up about her past to another attendee, only to find he has a dark past of his own, and he's not quite so willing to share. Fans will not be able to pass this up.

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