Books I can't wait to read!

Summer is almost here!  You can tell by the great summer reading choices that have recently published, and books to be published over the next few months. My iPad is full (plus a stack of real books)... I'm ready for time to relax on the deck, book in hand.

Here are a few new summer releases that I'm planning to read. 

Do you have any books you can't wait to read this summer?

Four Sisters, All Queens (May 2012):  With Provence under constant attack, their legacy and safety depend upon powerful alliances. Marguerite’s illustrious match with the young King Louis IX makes her Queen of France. Soon Eléonore—independent and daring—is betrothed to Henry III of England. In turn, shy, devout Sanchia and tempestuous Beatrice wed noblemen who will also make them queens.

Yet a crown is no guarantee of protection. Enemies are everywhere, from Marguerite’s duplicitous mother-in-law to vengeful lovers and land-hungry barons. Then there are the dangers that come from within, as loyalty succumbs to bitter sibling rivalry, and sister is pitted against sister for the prize each believes is rightfully hers—Provence itself.

Shout Her Lovely Name (Jun 2012): Mothers— both reluctant and euphoric — ride the familial tide of joy, pride, regret, guilt, and love in these stories of resilient and flawed women. In a battle between a teenage daughter and her mother, wheat bread and plain yogurt become weapons. An aimless college student, married to her much older professor, sneaks cigarettes while caring for their newborn son. On the eve of her husband’s fiftieth birthday, a pilfered fifth of vodka, an unexpected tattoo, and rogue teenagers leave a woman questioning her place. And in a suite of stories, we follow capricious, ambitious single mother Ruby and her cautious, steadfast daughter Nora through their tumultuous life—stray men, stray cats, and psychedelic drugs—in 1970s California.

The House of Serenades (June 2012): In 1910 Genoa, an Italian port city of divided classes and ancient power struggles, the Berillis are wealthy, powerful, and respected—until the day their darkest secrets begin to surface. Once the police intervene and the gossip grapevine is set in motion, the Berillis' demise is unavoidable.

But love lives on, and there's a mandolin player in town who is not giving up on...more In 1910 Genoa, an Italian port city of divided classes and ancient power struggles, the Berillis are wealthy, powerful, and respected—until the day their darkest secrets begin to surface. Once the police intervene and the gossip grapevine is set in motion, the Berillis' demise is unavoidable. But love lives on, and there's a mandolin player in town who is not giving up on the girl of his dreams. Never underestimate the power of music.

The House of Serenades is a brilliant portrait of the Italian upper class at the turn of the twentieth century, its habits, and its ways of life. At the same time, the story denounces the abuse and repression of women (sisters, daughters, wives) that was so common in those years.

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