Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Books in for Review

Here's a sampling of books that have come in for review recently.  Check them out and then stop by our site in a few weeks to read the reviews.

Don't Sell Grain to a Bird on Credit and More Arab by Stephen J. McGrane “If you are seeking deeper cultural understanding and a window into the Arab mind, Stephen McGrane’s book is a balanced and delightful guided tour laced with the fragrances, textures, and tastes of an Arab bazaar. You can sample this collection of proverbial delights and experience all of the flavor without the heaviness of more traditional narratives. McGrane’s choice of Arab proverbs delivers quick snapshots of cultural intimacy in an easily digestible little package that is fun to read and yet immensely satisfying.” —Ilario Pantano Author, conservative commentator, and Marine veteran of Desert Storm and Iraq “This book is a comprehensive collection of simple and common Arab proverbs that will be of interest to anyone in our global society. Stephen McGrane did a great job of gathering proverbs from all the regions of the Arab world.” —Salam Al-Manasir, MD Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE “As the world becomes increasingly ‘flat,’ Stephen McGrane’s follow-up book on Arab proverbs is recommended for business leaders seeking to do business in the region and is a conversation starter.” —Binh Q. Tran, Ph.D. Assistant Dean, School of Engineering, Catholic University of America “Proverbs are a key part of Arabic culture, and Stephen McGrane did a wonderful job of collecting and interpreting them, giving readers a unique insight into the rich lives and heritage of the Arab people.” —Mike Hawa, MBA Diageo Plc, Dubai, UAE “Stephen McGrane did not let ‘haste make waste’ from Volume 1: Trust in God but Tie Your Camel to producing Volume 2: Don’t Sell Grain to a Bird on Credit. His impressive collection of Arab proverbs continues to provide a vehicle for more people to have a greater chance to learn about the beautiful Arab culture through this collection of simple, honest, and funny concrete sayings.” —Richard Schuttler, Ph.D. International public speaker and best-selling author.

A Wicked Thing by Michael Kasenow Murders, ghosts and madness! Jonathan MacAlister recovers from a family tragedy to discover that a beautiful serial killer and an angelic spirit are competing for his life and death.

Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann Amanda Rosenbloom, proprietor of Astor Place Vintage, thinks she’son just another call to appraise and possibly purchase clothing from a wealthy, elderly woman. But after discovering a journal sewn into a fur muff, Amanda gets much more than she anticipated. The pages of the journal reveal the life of Olive Westcott, a young woman who had moved to Manhattan in 1907. Olive was set on pursuing a career as a department store buyer in an era when Victorian ideas, limiting a woman’s sphere to marriage and motherhood, were only beginning to give way to modern ways of thinking. As Amanda reads the journal, her life begins to unravel until she can no longer ignore this voice from the past. Despite being separated by one hundred years, Amanda finds she’s connected to Olive in ways neither could ever have imagined.

Santa's Sugar by jane Gerencher Nugget, a little elf in Santa's workshop, has difficulty finding his place and purpose. After various job attempts in and out of the workshop, Nugget accepts the responsibility of caring for Santa's beloved cat, Sugar. He does well at his job until one Christmas Eve when Sugar can't be found. Desperate to find her, Nugget is aided by a friendly reindeer. The themes of teamwork, fairness, gratitude, friendship, and doing the right thing flow gently under a delightful story of self discovery with charming illustrations to match.

Time Flies: A Novel by Claire Cook Years ago, Melanie followed her husband, Kurt, from the New England beach town where their two young sons were thriving to the suburbs of Atlanta. She’s carved out a life as a successful metal sculptor, but when Kurt leaves her for another woman, having the tools to cut up their marriage bed is small consolation. She’s old enough to know that high school reunions are often a big disappointment, but when her best friend makes her buy a ticket and an old flame gets in touch to see if she’ll be going, she fantasizes that returning to her past might help her find her future . . . until her highway driving phobia resurfaces and threatens to hold her back from the adventure of a lifetime.

Royal Mistress by Anne Easter Smith Jane Lambert, the quick-witted and alluring daughter of a silk merchant, is twenty-two and still unmarried. When Jane’s father finally finds her a match, she’s married off to the dull, older silk merchant William Shore. Marriage doesn’t stop Jane from flirtation, however, and when the king’s chamberlain, Will Hastings, comes to her husband’s shop, Will knows King Edward will find her irresistible. Edward IV has everything: power, majestic bearing, superior military leadership, a sensual nature, and charisma. And with Jane as his mistress, he also finds true happiness. But when his hedonistic tendencies get in the way of being the strong leader England needs, his life, as well as those of Jane and Will Hastings, hangs in the balance. Jane must rely on her talents to survive as the new monarch, Richard III, bent on reforming his brother’s licentious court, ascends the throne. This dramatic tale has been an inspiration to poets and playwrights for five hundred years, and, as told through the unique perspective of a woman plucked from obscurity and thrust into a life of notoriety, Royal Mistress is sure to enthrall today’s historical fiction lovers as well.

A Certain Summer by Patricia Beard Helen Wadsworth’s husband, Arthur, was declared missing in action during an OSS operation in France, but the official explanation was mysteriously nebulous. Now raising a teenage son who longs to know the truth about his father, Helen turns to Frank Hartman—her husband’s best friend and his partner on the mission when he disappeared. Frank, however, seems more intent on filling the void in Helen’s life that Arthur’s absence has left. As Helen’s affection for Frank grows, so does her guilt, especially when Peter Gavin, a handsome Marine who was brutally tortured by the Japanese and has returned with a faithful war dog, unexpectedly stirs new desires. With her heart pulled in multiple directions, Helen doesn’t know whom to trust—especially when a shocking discovery forever alters her perception of both love and war.

A Diet To Die For Sarah Steding Meet Jen Stevens—a New York City event planner with a sweet tooth who’s thirty pounds overweight, in her thirties and flirting with disaster when it comes to sticking to her diet. Her work at the Yummy Channel constantly surrounds her with deep-fried, sugar-coated, chocolate-dipped temptation. When one of the channel’s most renowned celebrity bakers meets an early demise, Jen is hungry to find the truth. Baker extraordinaire Bess Brantwood is the Yummy Channel’s brightest star—and the biggest diva of them all. Despite the off-camera drama, Jen has to admit that Bess’s chocolate buttercream cupcakes drizzled with caramel are simply to die for—and kill for, as it turns out—when Bess’s body is discovered outside her bakery. Who iced the cupcake queen? With the help of her BFFs—fab food-blogger Gabby and super-fit life coach Elizabeth—Jen starts sifting for clues. She’s got all the ingredients for the perfect crime, including one delectable detective, one divalicious diary, and enough industry rivals for a battle of the network stars. But is Jen prepared to risk her life as well as her waistline?

Gatsby Girls by F. Scott Fitzgerald She was an impulsive, fashionable and carefree 1920s woman who embodied the essence of the Gatsby Girl -- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda. As Fitzgerald said, "I married the heroine of my stories." All of the eight short stories contained in this collection were inspired by Zelda. Fitzgerald, one of the foremost writers of American fiction, found early success as a short story writer for the most widely read magazine of the early 20th century -- the Saturday Evening Post. Fitzgerald's stories, first published by the Post between 1920 and 1922, brought the Jazz Age and the "flapper" to life and confirmed that America was changing faster than ever before. Women were bobbing their hair, drinking and flirting shamelessly, and Fitzgerald brought these exciting Gatsby Girls to life in the pages of the Post. A foreword by Jeff Nilsson, archivist for the Post, adds historical context to this wonderful, new collection, which is highlighted by an introduction written by Fitzgerald himself. Each story is accompanied by the original illustrations and the beautiful cover images from the Post. Read the stories that made F. Scott Fitzgerald one of the most beloved writers in America -- and around the world -- still today.

The Time Between by Karen White Eleanor Murray will always remember her childhood on Edisto Island, where her late father, a local shrimper, shared her passion for music. Now her memories of him are all that tempers the guilt she feels over the accident that put her sister in a wheelchair—and the feelings she harbors for her sister’s husband. To help support her sister, Eleanor works at a Charleston investment firm during the day, but she escapes into her music, playing piano at a neighborhood bar. Until the night her enigmatic boss walks in and offers her a part-time job caring for his elderly aunt, Helena, back on Edisto. For Eleanor, it’s a chance to revisit the place where she was her happiest—and to share her love of music with grieving Helena, whose sister recently died under mysterious circumstances. An island lush with sweetgrass and salt marshes, Edisto has been a peaceful refuge for Helena, who escaped with her sister from war-torn Hungary in 1944. The sisters were well-known on the island, where they volunteered in their church and community. But now Eleanor will finally learn the truth about their past: secrets that will help heal her relationship with her own sister—and set Eleanor free...

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