Thursday, September 22, 2016

Reading Ahead: October 2016, part 4

Wow, September is just rocketing right along, and I just can't seem to keep up! Good thing I keep a handy list of what's coming soon close by, or I'd really be in trouble!

Hag-Seed, by Margaret Atwood. In this modern retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Felix is at the top of his game as Artistic Director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival. His productions have amazed and confounded. Now he's staging a Tempest like no other: not only will it boost his reputation, it will heal emotional wounds.  Or that was the plan. Instead, after an act of unforeseen treachery, Felix is living in exile in a backwoods hovel, haunted by memories of his beloved lost daughter, Miranda. And also brewing revenge.  After twelve years, revenge finally arrives in the shape of a theater course at a nearby prison. Here, Felix and his inmate actors will put on his Tempest and snare the traitors who destroyed him. It's magic! But will it remake Felix as his enemies fall? I'm a long-time fan of Atwood's, since reading Alias Grace in college (many moons ago). There have been a number of Shakespearean retellings of late, but if Atwood is true to form, this will be a standout.

Two By Two, by Nicholas Sparks. This much anticipated new novel from Sparks (seriously, people have been requesting it for months and months already) is sure to be an instant favorite among fans. At 32, Russell Green is living the American Dream: gorgeous wife, adorable daughter, successful advertising career, an enviable home. But like so many perfect things, all is not as it appears, and within a matter of months, Russell's world has been upended. Gone are his wife, his career, and he's left to recreate life for himself and his young daughter. Also available in Large Print.

Small Great Things, by Jodi Picoult. Picoult always seems to have her finger on the pulse of hotbed topics in our culture, and her new novel is just her latest demonstration of this precision. Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene? Expect that your fellow readers will be discussing this in short order. Also available in Large Print.

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