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Hot New Reads – January

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girl_trainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

A debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

 

Etta and Otto and Russell and Jamesetta_otto by Emma Hooper

Eighty-two-year-old Etta has never seen the ocean. So early one morning she takes a rifle, some chocolate, and her best boots, and begins walking the 3,232 kilometers from rural Canada eastward to the coast.

Her husband Otto wakes to a note left on the kitchen table. I will try to remember to come back, Etta writes to him. Otto has seen the ocean, having crossed the Atlantic years ago to fight in a far-away war. He understands. But with Etta gone, the memories come crowding in and Otto struggles to keep them at bay.

Russell has spent his whole life trying to keep up with Otto and loving Etta from afar. Russell insists on finding Etta, wherever she’s gone. Leaving his own farm will be the first act of defiance in his life.

As Etta walks further toward the ocean, accompanied by a coyote named James, the lines among memory, illusion, and reality blur. Rocking back and forth with the pull of the waves, Etta and Otto and Russell and James moves from the hot and dry present of a quiet Canadian farm to a dusty burnt past of hunger, war, passion, and hope; from trying to remember to trying to forget; and inspires each of its characters to visit the sites they’ve longed to see and say the things they’ve longed to say. This is dazzling literary fiction about the rediscovery and care of the soul, and the idea it’s never too late for a great adventure.

 

Before I Gobefore_i_go by Colleen Oakley

On the eve of what was supposed to be a triumphant “Cancerversary” with her husband Jack to celebrate three years of being cancer-free, Daisy suffers a devastating blow: her doctor tells her that the cancer is back, but this time it’s an aggressive stage four diagnosis. She may have as few as four months left to live. Death is a frightening prospect—but not because she’s afraid for herself. She’s terrified of what will happen to her brilliant but otherwise charmingly helpless husband when she’s no longer there to take care of him. It’s this fear that keeps her up at night, until she stumbles on the solution: she has to find him another wife.

With a singular determination, Daisy scouts local parks and coffee shops and online dating sites looking for Jack’s perfect match. But the further she gets on her quest, the more she questions the sanity of her plan. As the thought of her husband with another woman becomes all too real, Daisy’s forced to decide what’s more important in the short amount of time she has left: her husband’s happiness—or her own?

 

The Sweetheartsweetheart by Angelina Mirabella

It’s 1953 and seventeen-year-old Leonie Putzkammer is cartoonishly tall and curvaceous, destined to spend the rest of her life waiting tables and living with her widowed father, Franz, in their Philadelphia row house. Until the day legendary wrestling promoter Salvatore Costantini walks into the local diner and offers her the chance of a lifetime.

Leonie sets off for Florida to train at Joe Pospisil’s School for Lady Grappling. There, she transforms into Gorgeous Gwen Davies, tag-team partner of legendary Screaming Mimi Hollander, and begins a romance with the soon-to-be Junior Heavyweight Champion Spider McGee. But when life as Gorgeous Gwen leaves her wanting, she orchestrates a move that will catapult her from heel to hero: she becomes The Sweetheart, a choice that attracts the fans she desires but complicates all of her relationships—with Franz, Joe, Spider, Mimi (who becomes her fiercest competitor), and even with herself.

Angelina Mirabella’s surprising, affecting, and morally complex novel describes how a single decision can ripple through the lives of everyone around us. How Leonie sizes up the competition, how she triumphs, how she fails, and how she manages, somehow, to endure, holds promise: if she can, maybe we can, too. The Sweetheart showcases Mirabella’s breathtaking talent; it is daring, innovative, and powerful storytelling.

 

zillow_talkZillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate by Spencer Rascoff & Stan Humphries

The CEO and the chief economist of the country’s leading real estate web site explain why everything you thought you knew about housing is wrong and how real estate actually works today.

How do you spot an area poised for gentrification? Is spring or winter the best time to put your house on the market? Will a house on Swamp Road sell for less than one on Gingerbread Lane? The fact is that the rules of real estate have changed drastically over the past five years. To understand real estate in our fast-paced, technology-driven world, we need to toss out all of the outdated truisms and embrace today’s brand new information. But how?

Enter Zillow, the nation’s #1 real estate website and mobile app. Thanks to its treasure trove of proprietary data and army of statisticians and data scientists, led by chief economist Stan Humphries, Zillow has been able to spot the trends and truths of today’s housing market while acknowledging that a home is more than an economic asset. In ZILLOW TALK, Humphries and CEO Spencer Rascoff explain the science behind where and how we live now and reveal practical, data-driven insights about buying, selling, renting and financing real estate. Read this book to find out why:

-It’s better to remodel your bathroom than your kitchen
-Putting the word “cute” in your listing could cost you thousands of dollars
-You shouldn’t buy the worst house in the best neighborhood
-You should never list your house for $444,000
-You shouldn’t list your house for sale before March Madness or after the Masters

Densely packed with entertaining anecdotes and invaluable how-to advice, Zillow Talk is poised to be the real estate almanac for the next generation.

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By |December 22nd, 2014|Categories: Featured Post, Hot New Reads|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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