Arts & Entertainment
Bookworms will agree: nothing is better than picking up a page-turner during a break from school. That break is almost here, and a book list is in order.
New books are hitting the shelves this December, from the likes of veteran authors to those publishing their debut novel.
The tantalizing thriller, “The Good Samaritan,” by John Marrs, will be published on Dec. 1, offering a chance to get away from the holiday cheer and into the suspenseful writing of the English reporter meets author.
Marrs has written several novels including “Aztec,” “Substance and Shadow,” “When You Disappeared” and another one soon to come out in 2018.
In “The Good Samaritan,” Laura, an enraged and spiteful almost 40-year-old, begins a pretend suicide hotline named End of the Line. Laura has people reach out to her to talk about what has led them to the brink – only to make them feel worse than before they called.
Ryan, a person who has shared his own share of disappoints in life, is the sole person to know about Laura’s dark intentions. He tries to find a way to cease Laura’s dishonest workings, but tensions ensue once the main character knows she has someone who wants justice.
The book has a feeling of revenge and desire – an ultimate clash between the protagonist and antagonist.
“The Good Samaritan” already has a slew of reviews on Goodreads.com, with an average rating of over four out of five stars.
Another book being published in December is “Elmet” by Fiona Mozley, a current PhD student studying medieval history.
Mozley was a finalist in the 2017 Man Booker Prize for her debut novel, showcasing the loyalty between a family living in the peaceful town of Elmet in Yorkshire, England.
The book follows the quiet lives of a dad and his children – Cathy and Daniel. As the children are taught by an eccentric local woman, their dad works with his hands and hunts while also doing some secretive work for extra money.
Their lives are simple and reclusive, until another landowner shows up to their house, changing their lives. The family is forced to make unlikely decisions for themselves and their other neighbors, which seem to only end badly.
The Economist reviewed the book, calling it “a quiet explosion of a book, exquisite and unforgettable.”
The third novel to watch out for is “Year One.” This book is the first in the Chronicles of the One Series, written by No. 1 New York Times Best Selling Author, Nora Roberts, which will be unloaded to bookshelves on Dec. 5.
The dystopian series will chronicle the end of civilization and retreat into a world of people infected with magick.
The book begins on New Year’s Eve, with a contagious disease creating fear as half the population eventually dies. All order from law and government becomes obsolete, and electricity grids start to fail.
Magick replaces empirical evidence and technology. Good and bad become defined, separating the rest of the population.
No one seems to be safe, including Lana and Max, who feel forced to leave New York City and head West. The pair meet others on the way. Suspicions rise – everyone could be an enemy.
“Year One” is an apocalyptic journey, similar to many novels in the dystopian genre.
“Characters are pretty much stock good or evil, but readers who are after a well-told apocalyptic story with magical touches will be satisfied,” Publishers Weekly wrote.
The final book, written by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Sam Shepard, will be published on Dec. 5.
“Spy of the First Person,” with its unconventional title and classic literature appeal, should be highly anticipated.
An unnamed narrator recalls his past, such as his life’s work, travels and unexpected adventure, while receiving medical tests and treatments in his deteriorating state. The memories shared feature relevant issues of today’s world, with immigration, suspicion, inclusion and exclusion being common themes.
The book takes the reader to various places, including the Arizona clinic, the New Mexico border and a dilapidated building in New York City.
Though the book may have a stagnant plot for some, it seems high in characterization, focusing strictly on the voices and dynamics of the protagonist.
Shepard was an actor, playwright, director and screenwriter. He died earlier this year, giving weight to this book and many of the plays he had written.
“Snares with virtuoso precision both nature’s constant vibrancy and the stop-action of illness. Told in short takes pulsing with life and rueful wit…,” said Donna Seaman, in a review from “Booklist.”
This list of four books will be sold starting early next month, but preordering is available for select books on a few online sites.
Prepare your book list because it is time for the bookworms to revel in some well-deserved binge-reading during this winter break.