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For the list of recommendations in December 2012, look here:

http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,134564.0.html

If you are an author or publisher, please do not 'recommend' your own books. Instead you may start a discussion/promotion thread in the Book Bazaar.

Generally, this thread is for quick recommendations. You know, you're sitting with a friend at dinner and you say, "Hey, I just finished this book and I think you would love it!" That kind of thing.

If you've got a book review or other site and would like to regularly share reviews with us, we invite you to start a thread in the Book Bazaar for your site and periodically post links to reviews, subject to our posting rules for authors and bloggers.

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I am going to re-recommend a book that's not new, but is free on Amazon.com.

"Soul Identity" by Dennis Batchelder.



I could not put it down, and immediately bought the sequel "Soul Intent."

I fell in love with the characters, and the storyline was very thought-provoking. Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, you will enjoy this book if you demand great character development and twists and turns.

I hope Mr. Batchelder is working on a third book!

k
 

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The End Of The Wasp Season by Denise Mina

A young woman is awoken in the home of her recently departed mother by a couple of teenage boys who seem to have a bone to pick with her.  Though it soon becomes clear that they are picking the wrong bone, the woman finds herself in grave danger and makes her bid for freedom.  Sadly for her, she doesn’t make it and the boys lose control as they stamp out all of her facial features.

DS Alex Morrow is sent along to investigate.  What the reader picks up from the early encounters with Morrow is that she’s from a complicated working-class family, that she’s no fan of her superiors and that she’s pregnant with twins.  She also cares about her new victim and has to fight with the men around her to get to see this as the murder of an innocent rather than simply another paid-by-the-hour job.

The story unfolds wonderfully.

The teenage boy killers attend a private, very exclusive Scottish school.  Thomas and Squeak are soon separated when Thomas leaves for home after his rich and infamous father has committed suicide.  Lars Anderson has been losing the money of many in the recent financial crash, a crash that impacts upon many in this novel.

Morrow encounters an old friend in the form of Kay, the cleaner who once worked for the victim and her mother and continues to clean for other families in the area.  This opens the doors to a range of complications which make rather uncomfortable reading in a pleasure/pain sort of way.

The resolution of the story is for you to find out.  All I’ll say is that it winds up with a growing sense of the need for justice and an accelerated desire to reach the end and find out what that might be.  There was no let down when I finally got there, just a perfectly formed moment that I genuinely hadn’t expected, one that passes comment on a world that so often doesn’t seem fair.

It is a police procedural, but it has a huge amount to offer beyond that.  The stories seem to me to be about people and the way they are affected by crime as much as they seem to be about the serving of justice, after all justice as offered by the legal system will rarely have the power to redress the injustices of our society.

Mina has a great empathy with her characters.  Seems to really see the subtle ways in which they interpret the world and are formed by their experiences of it.  Can paint detailed pictures of the lives of her characters by sketching in minor details that are striking in way they expose the inner workings of the people in this book.
She also explores identity in a number of ways.  No one is as they seem, each person has a life beneath the veneer of their stereotypes or the first impressions they create.  Class, religion, personal flaws, successes and tragedies are all brought to the surface in a book that refuses to leave human beings as two-dimensional items.

It’s a very engaging read that’s written with real skill and feeling and I’ll definitely be reading more of Mina’s work in the future.  Very good indeed.
 

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An oldie but a goodie:  During the holidays, I read The Rainmaker by John Grisham.  I hadn't read one of his books in ages and ages, but I was in the mood for a fun read and this fit the bill.  It's 500+ pages and I read it in a day and a half.  Just a good ole joyride, a mental vacation.  Worth checking out if you want an escape.
 

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I just finished Stephen King's 11/22/63 and after 800+ pages I didn't want it end. I loved The Stand, now, about a hundred years later, the man has outdone himself.

 

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i have read so many new authors this past few months. THOMAS BLOCK ( around for a long time, but i just rediscovered him) , for those of you who love a good thriller CAPTAIN, SKYFALL etal.
BLOCK'S NOVELS do for the airline industry what JAWS did for the BEACH INDUSTRY! Do NOT READ IF FLYING!
ELLEN LEVY SARNOFF: AUTHOR of DEWITCHED and UNHITCHED takes GRIMM FAIRY TALES and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST and creates a wonderful new world. If you are a NORA EFRON fan you will love this wonderful author.
EDDIE UPNICK is the new man to go to for SCI FI. His trilogy starting with TIME WILL TELL is the new back to the FUTURE. Mixing history with sci fi he brings you someplace NO AUTHOR HAS GONE BEFORE.

My favorite authors are still giving us hours of great reading. LISA GARDNER, J.D.ROBB, and KEN FOLLETT just to name a few. But if you are looking for new authors, check out the ones above.
 

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I'd like to recommend The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery.  I got this as a Christmas present and wasn't sure I could get into it at first but it is a lovely book.

Translated from the French, it tells the story of a concierge in a rich Paris apartment building on the Left Bank.  The image she presents of herself to the residents is that of a stupid, uncultivated caretaker, but underneath her conventional facade she is a lover of art and books. 

In one of the luxury apartments Paloma has decided to commit suicide on her thirteenth birthday because she can't face the dull, bourgeois future ahead of her.

Both women's lives change when one of the resident dies and a new tenant moves in.

A superb read!

Peggie
 

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Just finished this one over the weekend, and really enjoyed it. (Borrowed it from my library for Kindle, so check your local library if they do electronic lending!) Am looking forward to the sequel!

 
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