Post BEA Book Buzz: Sizzling Books of Summer

Welcome to the second in a series of Post-BEA Book Buzz articles where I will be highlighting some of the hot new titles which I discovered at the BEA. See the first post in the series (Hot Books May 2010) here.

Today I’m going to share with you some of the titles I’m excited about which are due for release in July and August 2010.

Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins is a young adult novel slated for release by Charlesbridge in July. I have never read anything by this Young Adult author, but this book really caught my eye because of my recent interest in books set in Burma. The novel is narrated by two teenage boys on the opposing side of the Burmese conflict between the military-style government and the Karenni (one of the many ethnic minorities in Burma). The themes of this book include the nature of violence, power, and prejudice as seen through the eyes of child soldiers and refugees.

Mitali Perkins was born in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Her name means “friendly” in the Bangla language. By the time she was eleven years old, Perkins had lived in Ghana, Cameroon, London, New York and Mexico before settling in California. She currently lives with her husband and twin teenage sons in Massachusetts. Bamboo People is Perkin’s sixth Young Adult novel. To learn more about Perkins and her work, visit the author’s website.

There are several books being released in August which caught my eye and made it home to California with me:

I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson (Graywolf Press) is the long awaited next novel by this award-winning novelist to be translated from the Norwegian. The novel is set in 1989 as Communism is crumbling all over Europe.  Arvid Jansen, 37, is in the midst of a divorce and dealing with his mother’s diagnosis of cancer.  I Curse the River of Time is the story of a complicated mother-son relationship against the backdrop of historical events.

Per Petterson has written a collection of short stories, a book of essays and five novels that have established his reputation as one of Norway’s most significant fiction writers. To Siberia was nominated for the Nordic Council’s Literary Award and nominated for The International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. In the Wake received the prestigious Norwegian literary prize, and was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Out Stealing Horses was awarded the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK, as well as both the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize and the Norwegian Critics’ Award for best novel.  To learn more about Petterson and his work, visit the author’s website.

The Pages by Murray Bail (Other Press) is set on a small sheep farm in the interior of Australia. Wesley Antill, a recluse, leaves a manuscript entitled “Theory of Emotions” behind when he dies. Wesley’s brother and sister employ someone to appraise the work – a woman named Erica who shows up with her psychoanalyst friend Sophie. As the story spools out, the relationship between these two women  takes a surprising turn. The Pages has been described as a meditation on friendship and love. Read an excerpt.

Murray Bail was born in Adelaide, Australia in 1941. He is the author of four novels and two collections of short stories. His novel Eucalyptus was awarded the 1999 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award.

The Blessings of Animals by Katrina Kittle (Harper Perennial) centers around a recently divorced veterinarian who is on a quest to unravel the secret ingredients of a happy, long-lasting marriage. Cami Anderson looks to the abused horses in her care for healing and understanding – and in the process discovers the poignant lessons in how to move forward after loss. Author Sara Gruen writes about Kittle’s latest novel:  “[A] beautifully crafted novel….A must-read not only for animal lovers, but for anyone who has found the courage to come back from heartbreak and find love again, without reservation, without fear.

Katrina Kittle has lived in the Dayton, Ohio, area for most of her life. She studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts and Ohio University, first as a theater major, then accepting an invitation to join the Honors Tutorial Program in English. She graduated in 1990 with a BA in English and a BS in Education. She has worked as a writer-in-residence and taught creative writing workshops for several elementary, middle, and high schools, universities, and organizations. She has also worked in case management support at the AIDS Foundation Miami Valley (now the AIDS Resource Center) and  as a veterinary assistant. She is the author of Traveling Light and Two Truths and a Lie. Her third novel, The Kindness of Strangers, was released in February 2006. The Kindness of Strangers was selected as a Book Sense pick for February, and was the Fiction Book winner for the 2006 Great Lakes Book Awards. To read more about Kittle and her work, visit the author’s website or follow her blog.

Sudan by Ninie Hammon and Art Ayris (Kingstone) is a novel based on a true story. Raiders attack a small Sudanese village and kidnap a Dinka farmer’s beloved daughter, carrying her away into slavery where she is starved, beaten and brutalized. Her father, desperate to find her, sacrifices everything and faces down the Sudan government in this book about genocide and human trafficking. Sudan is based upon the butchering and enslavement of southern Sudan’s Christian and Animist people during the 1980’s and 1990’s which has now extended to the genocide of the Darfur people.

Art Ayris is a writer and producer who has worked on documentaries in Asia, Brazil and the Sudan. Ninie Hammon is a journalist and, until 2005, was the publisher of The Southeast Outlook. Hammon has a previously published book: God Said Yes (2007).  She lives in London with her husband. The couple have six children and seven grandchildren.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevens (St. Martins Press) is a novel you might remember I received earlier this year. I grabbed another copy at the BEA so I could give one away here on my blog. Stay tuned for details closer to the release date.

Still Missing is called engrossing, terrifying, grim and utterly absorbing. This novel is a thriller which tells the story of ‘an abducted woman, her year held captive, and an escape which is just beginning.‘ This is the author’s first published novel.

Chevy Stevens grew up on a ranch on Vancouver Island. Her inspiration for Still Missing came from her fears as a Realtor about being abducted. Steven’s bio indicates she enjoys writing thrillers that allow her to blend her interest in family dynamics with her love of the west coast lifestyle. She also likes hiking with her husband and dog in the local mountains. Stevens is currently working on her second novel Never Knowing to be released in the summer of 2011.  To learn more about Chevy Stevens and her work, visit the author’s website. You can also follow her blog here.

Stay tuned later this week for the third installation in this series: September Gems.

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    • Andi on June 7, 2010 at 08:48

    Great looking books! I see a few I’d like to add to my mounting TBR stacks. 🙂

    • Beth F on June 7, 2010 at 09:13

    I got copies of the first two books too — and both look great. The Pages looks fabulous — I love an Australian setting. Sudan definitely looks intense. I remember Still Missing — I might just go for the giveaway!

    • jess on June 7, 2010 at 09:16

    Still Missing sounds great — can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

    • Gaby @ Starting Fresh on June 7, 2010 at 10:04

    Nice post! I had so wanted to get Bamboo People, too. I wasn’t able to get any of these books and look forward to hearing your thoughts on them, especially I Curse The River of Time, Sudan, and Still Missing. Enjoy!

  1. I am going to be doing a book tour featuring The Blessings of the Animals and I am really excited about it. It looks like it’s going to be a great book! Some of these others look wonderful as well!!

    • Amy on June 7, 2010 at 10:11

    I’m very happy that I picked up a copy of Bamboo People (thank you Lenore for bringing this to my attention!), but wow, I wish I had seen Sudan and Still Missing. Both of those look incredible! I am looking forward to your review of Sudan, though I am putting it on my wishlist right away anyway, knowing it’s one I’ll want.

  2. I’m excited about Bamboo People too – after seeing Mitali speak at the breakfast, I’m a fan of hers.

  3. adding Sudan to my list, thanks for mentioning it.

    • Wendy on June 7, 2010 at 11:29

    Andi: Always happy to enable a fellow reader 🙂

    Beth: I’ll look forward to your thoughts on Bamboo People and Petterson’s new title! I’m thinking I’ll post the giveaway of Still Missing toward the end of July – so stay tuned!

    Jess: Come back for the giveaway…maybe you’ll win a copy!

    Gaby: Thanks…I sort of stumble across Bamboo People and Petterson’s novel…BEA was so hectic, wasn’t it?

    Zibilee: I thought Kittle’s book looked like something I would really enjoy. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts on it!

    Amy: There were so many great books at BEA – I wish I could have picked up even more myself!!

    Kathy: I didn’t go to the author breakfasts…but now I wish I had!

    Monica: you’re welcome – hope you’ll find it an interesting read!

  4. Thanks for the insight on the book Sudan – it will be added to my TBR list.

  5. The Blessings of the Animals book brought to mind a PBS special from years ago on “the horse whisperer.” According to him (and he seemed honest), watching his respectful technique for gentling a frightened horse would sometimes result in a member of his audience actually fainting, and it would sometimes come out afterwards that that person had been abused.

    I regret not putting a horse in what I wrote. There’s a cow, but that’s just not the same!

  6. I picked up SUDAN as well – it looks like it will be very good, but very sad as well.

  7. I just finished The Blessings of the Animals and I really, really enjoyed it. Of course, at the rate I’m going, that means I might get the review written sometime in 2011. 😛

  8. Some of these caught my eye too, though I didn’t know about the new Katrina Kittle! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it.

    • Serena on June 8, 2010 at 07:10

    I’ve heard a lot of buzz about Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins. I’m happy to see you made it to Graywolf. They have great books and poetry. I love Per Petterson’s short stories, and I was so tempted by that book, but I got swayed by the only poetry book they had…I couldn’t resist that.

  9. Oh I just won a copy of Still Missing on LT – can’t wait!

    • Wendy on June 10, 2010 at 06:37

    Jayme: You’re welcome – hope you’ll enjoy the book!

    Shelley: I loved the Horse Whisperer (I actually watched this guy do a “show” in California where he worked with a difficult horse in front of the audience…it was fascinating).

    Heather: I agree – Sudan looks sad. I think I’ll have to wait a bit to read it since I’ve just read TWO sad books back to back!

    Kristen: LOL! Glad to know Kittle’s book is going to stand up to the hype!

    Swapna: There were so many great books to choose from. I keep seeing ones on other peoples’ blogs that I wish I’d seen and picked up!

    Serena: Graywolf had some great books…I couldn’t resist Petterson’s latest because I loved OUT STEALING HORSES.

    Luanne: Yay! Hope you’ll enjoy it!

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