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Falling Into Fiction: Novels for the Fireside Nights Ahead | Book reviews

By on September 16, 2021 0

The literary season of early fall usually offers a plethora of new novels aimed at warming up winter days and nights. This year is no different.

To help you prepare for the season, Mountain timetable offers you the following titles, which are currently scheduled for publication between mid-August and the end of September. Designed for the depth of story needed to tackle the looming slump of High Country’s longest season, the titles here are presented in ascending order of release date.

“Darkness Know” by Arnaldur Indridason.

“The Darkness Knows: A Novel, Detective Konrad Book 1” by Arnaldur Indridason (Minotaur Books, August 17, 352 pages, $ 27.99)

Translated from Icelandic by Victoria Cribb, Arnaldur Indridason’s “The Darkness Knows” reunites readers with Konrad Flovent, the retired detective of “The Shadow District”. Here, Konrad, the policeman who initially investigated the disappearance of a businessman 30 years earlier, is called upon to reopen the case when a frozen body is found in the depths of the Langjokull Glacier. While this convention has been exploited many times before, Indridason’s Plot and Cribb’s Translation offers a new series debut that is sure to bring you more spooky environments than even the most inhospitable winter evening of the High. Country.

“The Last Chance Library” by Freya Sampson

“The Last Chance Library” by Freya Sampson (Berkley, August 31, 336 pages, “26)

If you’re into books, it’s nearly impossible to pass up a story with “library” in the title, and Freya Sampson’s “The Last Chance Library” is not to be missed. From its first sentence, “You can tell a lot about a person from the books in the library they borrow,” to the charming sleepy English village of its setting, you know it’s a story that promises charm and comfort. The promise comes in the form of lonely librarian June Jones, a 30-year-old woman who would rather live in books than in the world around her. When both worlds are threatened by the library closure, June joins outside forces – an eclectic group of like-minded locals – in a campaign to keep the facility open. A simple story on the surface delves deep into the exploration of how a woman becomes the strength of family, friends, and love.

“Only If You Dare: 13 Stories of Darkness and Doom” by Josh Allen.

“Only If You Dare: 13 Stories of Darkness and Doom” by Josh Allen (Holiday, August 31, 208 pages, $ 16.99)

Ready for tween filming, Josh Allen’s “Only If you Dare” will be choice reading for the frigid nights leading up to Halloween. Featuring children themselves in real-life settings, Allen’s tales take on bizarre but believable twists and turns that 9-12 year olds will easily identify with. A substitute teacher who feasts the class with stories about vampires who feed on young people, an imaginary girlfriend who actually shows up at school and a young teenager whose first job is to deal with the pain of his clients are a sample of the stories offered here. As always, the publisher, Holiday House, presents a beautiful hardcover edition of the book (e-books are available) with appropriate odd artwork and a glow-in-the-dark dust jacket.

Lemony Snicket’s “Poison for Breakfast”.

“Poison for Breakfast” by Lemony Snicket (Liveright, August 31, 168 pages, $ 17.95)

Yes, this is a book for the non-children of this Lemony Snicket. In fact, ignore those who tell you this book is for 13-18 year olds. In theory, this could be the case (the school level corresponds to the pupils of the 5th to the 9th), but it is only for these ages, in the same way that books such as “The Little Prince” are intended for children. adolescent readers. And indeed, the comparison with the classic Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is not accidental. Snicket may have created his own classic. Focusing on the life of a single day in the life of Lemony Snicket, this brief story (note: Snicket considers the book his first non-fiction title; debate the category however you like) begins with an enigmatic note ( “You had poison for breakfast”) and evolves into a meandering series of clues about the message itself. Snicket’s voice as the narrator is smart and witty and will be familiar to those who have read “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, but here takes on a deeper tone in a “Book of Going astray, a word which here means not having any ice cream whats going on at any given time.The perfect size for stocking stuffers, you’ll want to share this one after just one read.

“The Establishment of Shaadi” by Lillie Vale.

Lillie Vale’s “The Shaadi set-up” (GP Putnam’s Sons, September 7, 365 pages, $ 16)

Switching from young adult fiction to her debut in adult romantic comedy, Lillie Vale delivers a polished twist to second-chance romance in “The Shaadi Set-up.” Rita Chitniss knows she has a perfect relationship with her boyfriend, Neil, until she settles down with an ex by her matchmaker mother. To show her mother and herself that her new love is true, Rita signs her up with Neil on a dating site, myshaadi.com. A perfect match, she argues, will prove that they are made for each other. When the ex comes across as the site’s best partner instead, things get complicated – especially when it is revealed that what the ex wanted from the start was not a second chance, but knowing it – making Rita in design to influence her real estate business. Now Rita is more confused than ever. She’s in love, but a computer’s algorithm can’t be wrong, can it? Fun and quick read; spiritual and sincere.

“The world was playing chess” by Robert Dugoni.

“The World Has Played Chess” by Robert Dugoni (Lake Union Publishing, September 14, 400 pages, $ 24.95)

Although known for its thrillers – the Tracy Crosswhite series is the reader’s gift that keeps on giving – there’s a reason Robert Dugoni’s new novel, “The World Played Chess,” is currently the bestseller in the world. “coming of age fiction” category. One of those reasons is his 2018 novel, “The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell,” another non-thriller Dugoni cut his teeth on. After graduating from high school in 1979, Vincent Bianco found a short-lived job as a day laborer, working alongside two Vietnamese vets, including one with PTSD, who opened up to the young man and offered him an education that ‘he couldn’t get anywhere else. Today, 40 years later and with his own son on his way to college, Vincent is discovering the first lessons of his innocence last summer. The result is both subtle and overwhelming in shaping the fate of a man’s life. The title, modified from the saying “I play chess while you play checkers,” fits this gripping novel perfectly. Dugoni’s bandwidth keeps expanding, and “The World Played Chess” will become one of his best.

'Constance' by Matthew FitzSimmons.

‘Constance’ by Matthew FitzSimmons.

‘Constance’ by Matthew FitzSimmons (Thomas & Mercer, September 16, 352 pages, $ 24.95)

There’s a good reason why Matthew FitzSimmons’ “Constance” is considered an Editor’s Choice for Best Sci-Fi & Fantasy by Major Online Vendors. Part of that is the buzz of its selling rating as # 1 dystopian fiction for the eBook (which preceded the hardcover date shown here by two weeks), but the real reason is that FitzSimmons is offering. a timely and well-crafted narrative. about a human clone’s struggle to solve the mystery of who she is. The time is near and human cloning is a reality. Defying the camp of anti-cloning activists campaigning against the practice, Constance “Con” D’Arcy accepts the gift of a deceased aunt from her own clone. But after downloading her stored consciousness, Constance wakes up to find that her recent memories are gone and tells her that her original is dead. What follows is a disorienting search for the secrets of her life, how she died, and why she is apparently charged with murder again. A brain reading is sure to stimulate debate among the nicer book clubs.

‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’, by Anthony Doerr.

“Cloud Cuckoo Land”, by Anthony Doerr (Scribner, September 28, 640 pages, $ 30)

For a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, winning one of the most beloved literary novels of our time is no easy task. However, Anthony Doerr, author of “All the Light We Cannot See”, does it here, in his third novel, “Cloud Cuckoo Land”.

Redeemer may be an adjective too loosely used in literary works, but “Cloud Cuckoo Land” deserves this badge. Floating from the 15th century to, at the end of the novel, the year 2146, Doerr’s novel takes us from ancient Constantinople to a small town in present-day Idaho to a berth on an interstellar ship in the future. An ancient Greek manuscript linking the past, present and future of humanity, centered on an original story of Aethon, a young shepherd who dreams of a series of wild adventures leading to paradise.

The first accolades for this book from critics are already filling the annals of online sellers and other real estate in cyberspace. They are not undeserved.