So many good books are being released in May and June, prominently displayed at bookstore tables throughout the region, that I'm unable to buy them all. Yet I want them, and look forward to reading them. Your library will likely have them all before I do!
The first two writers mentioned here are from Massachusetts.
Noted author Michael J. Tougias, of Mendon, whose books dot the New York Times list these days, has a dramatic new historical narrative out. "So Close to Home," published May 3, is a dramatic recounting of the horrors endured by a most unfortunate family aboard the freighter "Heredia" when it was bombed by a German U-boat in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II. Survivors held on through sharks, hypothermia and deaths. Tougias's 23 other books include "The Finest Hours," released as a movie earlier this year—about a Coast Guard rescue off Chatham— and "King Philip's War," one of several books about this region's history.
Nantucket resident Nathaniel Philbrick's books have earned numerous prominent awards and consideration for a Pulitzer. His titles include "Mayflower," "Bunker Hill" and "In the Heart of the Sea." The latest is "Valiant Ambition," the story of George Washington and Benedict Arnold during the American Revolution. It promises to be an excellent character study.
Louise Erdrich, a prominent voice among contemporary Native American writers, has followed such beautifully written novels as "Love Medicine" and "The Round House" with "LaRose." It's the story of a man who atones for killing his neighbor and friend's son by giving him his own son, a traditional gesture. Few authors write about the heart in the way Erdrich does, and she brings to life people who live uncomfortably between Native traditions and modern American expectations.
Next comes Richard Russo, a Pulitzer winner (for "Empire Falls") who returns with a sequel to "Nobody's Fool" (remember Paul Newman in the role of Sully?). It's titled "Everybody's Fool." Sully's life in upstate New York has improved in the interim, but soon he faces a diagnosis that will change the lives of his family and friends. I can't wait for this one, based on the wonderful characters he creates. It's about tough times, humor and, above all, family love.
One of my favorite writers—in terms of rich writing style and character development—is Annie Proulx, a somewhat reclusive Pulitzer-prize-winning Western author known to many for fiction made into movies: "The Shipping News" and the story "Brokeback Mountain." On June 16, her publisher releases a new book, "Barkskins." It centers on two Frenchmen who become wood-cutters, or barkskins, in exchange for land. A multi-generational saga, it revolves around the threats man has brought to forestland. Think greed, revenge, and all those other wonderfully terrible human emotions.
What new books is your group planning to read? Send info to me at the e-mail address below.