New Book Releases: Week of September 13, 2011

There are quite a few books getting buzz this week, but The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern seems to be getting more hype than any other book (it’s being compared to Harry Potter, the movie rights were sold to the studio behind the Twilight movies, etc.). The book I’m most excited about is New York to Dallas by JD Robb, the 33rd book in the In Death series (and the only one without “In Death” in the title), which this review calls “a pinnacle book in the series.” There are also a bunch of memoirs hitting shelves this week by celebrities like Jane Lynch, Roger Ebert, and Michael Moore. Check out this week’s new book releases:

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

New York to Dallas by J.D. Robb
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
The new novel from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author, which takes readers deeper into the mind of Eve Dallas than ever before.

The number-one New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name-and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago.

Forbidden (The Books of Mortals) by Ted Dekker and Tosca Lee
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker teams with Tosca Lee to create this gripping thriller set in a desolate future.

Many years have passed since civilization’s brush with apocalypse. The world’s greatest threats have all been silenced. There is no anger, no hatred, no war. There is only perfect peace… and fear. But a terrible secret has been closely guarded for centuries: Every single soul walking the earth, though in appearance totally normal, is actually dead, long ago genetically stripped of true humanity.

Fleeing pursuit, with only moments to live, a young man named Rom stumbles into possession of a vial of blood and a piece of cryptic writing. When consumed, the blood will bring him back to life. When decoded, the message will lead him on a perilous journey that will require him to abandon everything he has ever known and awaken humanity to the transforming power of true life and love.

But the blood will also resurrect hatred, ambition, and greed.

Set in a terrifying, medieval future, where grim pageantry masks death, this tale of dark desires and staggering stakes peels back the layers of the heart for all who dare to take the ride.

Goddess of Vengeance by Jackie Collins
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Jackie Collins’ fierce and wildly beautiful heroine Lucky Santangelo is back with a vengeance—in a novel full of power, passion, revenge, and the raging family dynamics of the Santangelo clan—and, as always, Lucky comes out on top.

Lucky runs a high profile casino and hotel complex, The Keys in Vegas.

Lennie, her movie star husband, is still writing and directing successful independent movies, while Max, her stubborn and gorgeous teenage daughter is about to celebrate her 18th birthday, and her son, Bobby, owns a string of hot clubs. Lucky has everything. Family. Love. Life.

And everything is exactly what billionaire businessman Armand Jordan is determined to take from her one way or the other.

Born a Prince in the small but affluent Middle Eastern country of Akramshar, Armand comes to America with his American mother at an early age, and rises to become a real estate business titan. Armand regards women as nothing more than breeding mares or sexual playthings, so when his people inform him that the one property he covets more than anything, The Keys, is not for sale, he is shocked. That a mere woman would dare to turn down his offer to buy The Keys is unthinkable, and Armand vows to force Lucky’s hand whatever it takes. And so the battle for power begins . . .

Meanwhile Bobby is dealing with shady Russian investors, while his girlfriend—smart and independent Denver Jones—is becoming a Deputy D.A. in the L.A. drug unit.

And Max, Bobby’s seventeen year old sister, is busy embarking on a forbidden affair with a sexy young movie star. An affair they have to keep on the down-low lest Lucky finds out.

The word is that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and what happens in Goddess of Vengeance will blow your mind!

Perfect by Ellen Hopkins
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Everyone has something, someone, somewhere else that they’d rather be. For four high-school seniors, their goals of perfection are just as different as the paths they take to get there. A riveting and startling companion to the bestselling Impulse, Ellen Hopkins’s Perfect exposes the harsh truths about what it takes to grow up—and grow into our own selves. Because everyone wants to be perfect, but when perfection loses its meaning, how far will you go?

 

Modelland by Tyra Banks
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
No one gets in without being asked. And with her untamable hair, large forehead, and gawky body, Tookie De La Crème isn’t expecting an invitation. Modelland—the exclusive, mysterious place on top of the mountain—never dares to make an appearance in her dreams.

But someone has plans for Tookie. Before she can blink her mismatched eyes, Tookie finds herself in the very place every girl in the world obsesses about. And three unlikely girls have joined her.

Only seven extraordinary young women become Intoxibellas each year. Famous. Worshipped. Magical. What happens to those who don’t make it? Well, no one really speaks of that. Some things are better left unsaid.

Thrown into a world where she doesn’t seem to belong, Tookie glimpses a future that could be hers—if she survives the beastly Catwalk Corridor and terrifying Thigh-High Boot Camp. Or could it? Dark rumors like silken threads swirl around the question of why Tookie and her new friends were selected . . . and the shadows around Modelland hide sinister secrets.

Are you ready? Modelland is waiting for you. . . .

Supernatural: Night Terror by John Passarella
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Alerted to strange happenings in Clayton Falls, Colorado, Bobby sends the boys to check it out. A speeding car with no driver, a homeless man pursued by a massive Gila monster, a little boy chased by uprooted trees — it all sounds like the stuff of nightmares. The boys fight to survive a series of terrifying nighttimes, realizing that sometimes the nightmares don’t go away — even when you’re awake…

A Supernatural novel that reveals a previously unseen adventure for the Winchester brothers, from the hit TV series!

Wonderstruck written and illustrated by Brian Selznick
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother’s room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories—Ben’s told in words, Rose’s in pictures–weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful–with over 460 pages of original artwork–Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.

Fateful by Claudia Gray
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Eighteen-year-old maid Tess Davies is determined to escape the wealthy, troubled family she serves. It’s 1912, and Tess has been trapped in the employ of the Lisles for years, amid painful memories and twisted secrets. But now the Lisle family is headed to America, with Tess in tow. Once the ship they’re sailing on—the RMS Titanic—reaches its destination, Tess plans to strike out and create a new life for herself.

Her single-minded focus shatters when she meets Alec, a handsome first-class passenger who captivates her instantly. But Alec has secrets of his own. He’s in a hurry to leave Europe, and whispers aboard the ship say it’s because of the tragic end of his last affair with the French actress who died so gruesomely and so mysteriously. . . .

Soon Tess will learn just how dark Alec’s past truly is. The danger they face is no ordinary enemy: werewolves exist and are stalking him—and now her, too. Her growing love for Alec will put Tess in mortal peril, and fate will do the same before their journey on the Titanic is over.

In Fateful, New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray delivers paranormal adventure, dark suspense, and alluring romance set against the opulent backdrop of the Titanic’s first—and last—voyage.

Robert B. Parker’s Killing the Blues (A Jesse Stone Novel) by Michael Brandman
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Paradise, Massachusetts, police chief Jesse Stone returns in a brilliant new addition to the New York Times-bestselling series.

Paradise, Massachusetts, is preparing for the summer tourist season when a string of car thefts disturbs what is usually a quiet time in town. In a sudden escalation of violence, the thefts become murder, and chief of police Jesse Stone finds himself facing one of the toughest cases of his career. Pressure from the town politicians only increases when another crime wave puts residents on edge. Jesse confronts a personal dilemma as well: a burgeoning relationship with a young PR executive, whose plans to turn Paradise into a summertime concert destination may have her running afoul of the law.

When a mysterious figure from Jesse’s past arrives in town, memories of his last troubled days as a cop in L.A. threaten his ability to keep order in Paradise-especially when it appears that the stranger is out for revenge.

Pearl Jam Twenty
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Published in celebration of Pearl Jam’s twentieth anniversary and in conjunction with Cameron Crowe’s definitive documentary film and soundtrack of the same name, PEARL JAM TWENTY is an aesthetically stunning and definitive chronicle of their two decades as a band—by the band itself.

In 1991, Pearl Jam’s debut album, Ten catapulted the little-known Seattle-based band into superstardom. Then, at the height of their popularity, the band shunned the spotlight, refusing to shoot videos or do interviews. Even as Pearl Jam’s studio albums continued to be critically acclaimed and commercially successful, selling over 60 million albums worldwide, the inner workings of the band—their day-to-day routines, influences, and motivations—remained unknown even to their diehard fans.

Twenty years later, this is their story. PEARL JAM TWENTY is a treasure trove of behind-the-scenes anecdotes, rare archival memorabilia, and the band’s personal photos, tour notes, and drawings. Told with wit and insight in the band members’ own words, and assembled by veteran music writer Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson—and including a foreword by Cameron Crowe along with original interviews with legends and contemporaries like Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl—this intimate work provides an in-depth look at a group of musicians who through defying convention established themselves as “the greatest American rock band ever” (USA Today Readers’ Poll 2005).

Happy Accidents by Jane Lynch
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In the summer of 1974, a fourteen-year-old girl in Dolton, Illinois, had a dream. A dream to become an actress, like her idols Ron Howard and Vicki Lawrence. But it was a long way from the South Side of Chicago to Hollywood, and it didn’t help that she’d recently dropped out of the school play, The Ugly Duckling. Or that the Hollywood casting directors she wrote to replied that “professional training was a requirement.”

But the funny thing is, it all came true. Through a series of Happy Accidents, Jane Lynch created an improbable–and hilarious–path to success. In those early years, despite her dreams, she was also consumed with anxiety, feeling out of place in both her body and her family. To deal with her worries about her sexuality, she escaped in positive ways–such as joining a high school chorus not unlike the one in Glee–but also found destructive outlets. She started drinking almost every night her freshman year of high school and developed a mean and judgmental streak that turned her into a real-life Sue Sylvester.

Then, at thirty-one, she started to get her life together. She was finally able to embrace her sexuality, come out to her parents, and quit drinking for good. Soon after, a Frosted Flakes commercial and a chance meeting in a coffee shop led to a role in the Christopher Guest movie Best in Show, which helped her get cast in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Similar coincidences and chance meetings led to roles in movies starring Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, and even Meryl Streep in 2009’s Julie & Julia. Then, of course, came the two lucky accidents that truly changed her life. Getting lost in a hotel led to an introduction to her future wife, Lara. Then, a series she’d signed up for abruptly got canceled, making it possible for her to take the role of Sue Sylvester in Glee, which made her a megastar.

Today, Jane Lynch has finally found the contentment she thought she’d never have. Part comic memoir and part inspirational narrative, this is a book equally for the rabid Glee fan and for anyone who needs a new perspective on life, love, and success.

Life Itself: A Memoir by Roger Ebert
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
Roger Ebert is the best-known film critic of our time. He has been reviewing films for the Chicago Sun-Times since 1967, and was the first film critic ever to win a Pulitzer Prize. He has appeared on television for four decades, including twenty-three years as cohost of Siskel & Ebert at the Movies.

In 2006, complications from thyroid cancer treatment resulted in the loss of his ability to eat, drink, or speak. But with the loss of his voice, Ebert has only become a more prolific and influential writer. And now, for the first time, he tells the full, dramatic story of his life and career.

Roger Ebert’s journalism carried him on a path far from his nearly idyllic childhood in Urbana, Illinois. It is a journey that began as a reporter for his local daily, and took him to Chicago, where he was unexpectedly given the job of film critic for the Sun-Times, launching a lifetime’s adventures.

In this candid, personal history, Ebert chronicles it all: his loves, losses, and obsessions; his struggle and recovery from alcoholism; his marriage; his politics; and his spiritual beliefs. He writes about his years at the Sun-Times, his colorful newspaper friends, and his life-changing collaboration with Gene Siskel. He remembers his friendships with Studs Terkel, Mike Royko, Oprah Winfrey, and Russ Meyer (for whom he wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls and an ill-fated Sex Pistols movie). He shares his insights into movie stars and directors like John Wayne, Werner Herzog, and Martin Scorsese.

This is a story that only Roger Ebert could tell. Filled with the same deep insight, dry wit, and sharp observations that his readers have long cherished, this is more than a memoir-it is a singular, warm-hearted, inspiring look at life itself.

Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life by Michael Moore
Available September 13, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
“I had an unusually large-sized head, though this was not uncommon for a baby in the Midwest. The craniums in our part of the country were designed to leave a little extra room for the brain to grow in case one day we found ourselves exposed to something we didn’t understand, like a foreign language, or a salad.”

Michael Moore-Oscar-winning filmmaker, bestselling author, the nation’s unofficial provocateur laureate-is back, this time taking on an entirely new role, that of his own meta-Forrest Gump.

Breaking the autobiographical mode, he presents twenty-four far-ranging, irreverent, and stranger-than-fiction vignettes from his own early life. One moment he’s an eleven-year-old boy lost in the Senate and found by Bobby Kennedy; and in the next, he’s inside the Bitburg cemetery with a dazed and confused Ronald Reagan. Fast-forwarding to 2003, he stuns the world by uttering the words “We live in fictitious times… with a fictitious president” in place of the expected “I’d like to thank the Academy.”

And none of that even comes close to the night the friendly priest at the seminary decides to show him how to perform his own exorcism.

Capturing the zeitgeist of the past fifty years, yet deeply personal and unflinchingly honest, HERE COMES TROUBLE takes readers on an unforgettable, take-no-prisoners ride through the life and times of Michael Moore. No one will come away from this book without a sense of surprise about the Michael Moore most of us didn’t know. Alternately funny, eye-opening, and moving, it’s a book he has been writing-and living-his entire life.

Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy
Available September 14, 2011 (Order on Amazon)

From the publisher:
In 1964, Jacqueline Kennedy recorded seven historic interviews about her life with John F. Kennedy. Now, for the first time, they can be heard and read in this deluxe, illustrated book and 8-CD set.

Shortly after President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, with a nation deep in mourning and the world looking on in stunned disbelief, Jacqueline Kennedy found the strength to set aside her own personal grief for the sake of posterity and begin the task of documenting and preserving her husband’s legacy. In January of 1964, she and Robert F. Kennedy approved a planned oral-history project that would capture their first-hand accounts of the late President as well as the recollections of those closest to him throughout his extraordinary political career. For the rest of her life, the famously private Jacqueline Kennedy steadfastly refused to discuss her memories of those years, but beginning that March, she fulfilled her obligation to future generations of Americans by sitting down with historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and recording an astonishingly detailed and unvarnished account of her experiences and impressions as the wife and confidante of John F. Kennedy. The tapes of those sessions were then sealed and later deposited in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum upon its completion, in accordance with Mrs. Kennedy’s wishes.

The resulting eight and a half hours of material comprises a unique and compelling record of a tumultuous era, providing fresh insights on the many significant people and events that shaped JFK’s presidency but also shedding new light on the man behind the momentous decisions. Here are JFK’s unscripted opinions on a host of revealing subjects, including his thoughts and feelings about his brothers Robert and Ted, and his take on world leaders past and present, giving us perhaps the most informed, genuine, and immediate portrait of John Fitzgerald Kennedy we shall ever have. Mrs. Kennedy’s urbane perspective, her candor, and her flashes of wit also give us our clearest glimpse into the active mind of a remarkable First Lady.

In conjunction with the fiftieth anniversary of President Kennedy’s Inauguration, Caroline Kennedy and the Kennedy family are now releasing these beautifully restored recordings on CDs with accompanying transcripts. Introduced and annotated by renowned presidential historian Michael Beschloss, these interviews will add an exciting new dimension to our understanding and appreciation of President Kennedy and his time and make the past come alive through the words and voice of an eloquent eyewitness to history.

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