Wonderful Novels To Give This Christmas

I have hand-picked just a few novels to give as gifts this season.

Silas House

Southernmost

SOUTHERNMOST by Silas House is my favorite novel this year.

Delia Owens

Where The Crawdads Sing

WHERE THE CRAWDAD’S SING by Delia Owens is an amazing first novel from  a new favorite author.

Andre Dubus III

Gone So Long

 

 

 

GONE SO LONG by Andre Dubus 111 is my novel project this year. I fell in love with the writing of Dubus years ago. Local focus.

Patti Calahan

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

BECOMING MRS. LEWIS was a big surprise hit for me. Fascinating and bursting with energy and truth.

Lisa Patton

Rush

I love RUSH. Lisa Patton is a new favorite Southern writer for me.

These are but a few of the new novels I’m talking about at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida. Come on in and let’s talk books! New hardcovers are always discounted 20%.

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Great Books To Give This Christmas!

Here are a few gift ideas for everyone on your gift list this year!

THE AVID READER ON YOUR LIST WILL LOVE:

Books on Books

Jane Mount

I bought myself a copy of BIBLIOPHILE. I got it  from Copperfish Books just before Thanksgiving. I knew I wanted it and could NOT bear to wait and see if it would be under our Christmas tree.  The photography is stunning. You have my personal guarantee and seal of approval! Purrfect.

Mimi with Book

 

 

 

1000 Books To Read Before You Die by James Mustich is a tome I’m giving to my 13 year-old grandson who’s reading far beyond his years. He makes my reading agenda look ridiculous! This is a great book he can keep forever…

1000 Books To Read Before You Die

I’d Rather Be Reading

I’d Rather Be Reading by Anne Bogel is just the right size to stuff into the book lover’s stocking.

 

 

 

TWO GREAT BOOKS FOR SMALL CHILDREN:

Construction Site on Christmas Night

We are giving our 2 year-old grandson who LOVES all things trucks this amazing book along with a  tough Tonka excavator to go with. Can’t wait to see his happy face.

picture book

Pearl

 

 

 

Pearl is a gorgeous picture book fit for a little mermaid. This one will be kept forever.

More suggestions will follow.  You can get most of these favorites at Copperfish Books in Punta, Gorda, Florida.

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

Sigrid Nunez

The Friend

Recently THE FRIEND by Sigrid Nunez won the National Book Award. I decided to take a close look at this book with a Great Dane on the cover. I’m a sucker for books with animals.  I ended up reading the entire book in a little over one day. Very readable for a big award winner.

What is this book about? It’s about much more than a dog. But the big dog is a good part of the story. The protagonist is a woman who lives in a tiny apartment in NYC. Her friend has recently committed suicide and she has inherited his beloved great dane Apollo. What’s a woman to do? How on earth can a dog of this size survive in such a cramped area? And this pet is grieving for his master. So is this woman who has lost her best friend.

THE FRIEND is humorous, witty, and so well written that it won the National Book Award as I mentioned earlier. That’s a huge feat for such a small book. I was tugged into the novel because of the relationship between the dog and the woman. But I stayed with the story because of the quality of the writing and the references to writers. And, of course, I had to know what would become of the dog. You see, dogs were prohibited in this apartment building and this dog certainly could not be hidden.

This is a poignant story about grief. I am convinced that animals certainly do grieve. And this book just cements my belief.  This novel is being read in book clubs. And discussed. Rightly so.

I borrowed my copy of THE FRIEND from the library. I look forward to reading other books by Sigrid Nunez. I hear all her books have animals in them. I love that!

Writer’s Remember Pat Conroy

Pat Conroy

Our Prince of Scribes

This photo of Pat Conroy speaks volumes to those of us who have loved him and his beautiful novels for many years. He had so many friends and so many of them wished to write a tribute to him. After all, Pat Conroy was one of the greatest writers of all time. Period.

I discovered Conroy one Saturday morning many years ago when I was at my local library in Bonita Springs. I was perusing the cart with new books being prepared for shelving. Spotted BEACH MUSIC.

Beach Music

Beach Music signed by Pat Conroy

Never once looked back. I devoured that book. Could not believe I had not read other books by Pat.  More than ten years later I was trying to decide what book to take with me on a trip to Italy.  It had to be a book I could be assured would be great. BEACH MUSIC came to mind.  Rereading it for the second time was even better.  Then a couple years later Pat spoke before a huge crowd at the Miami Book Fair. I was in the audience with a dear friend who is also a huge Conroy fan. We were the lucky ones getting to meet Pat Conroy and have our books signed. He was and will continue to be a giant in the book world.

This wonderful book has a foreword by Barbra Streisand and an afterward by his wife Cassandra King Conroy. If you are a fan you will want to include this book in your Conroy library.  I pick mine up almost daily to read one of the essays written by friends and family who loved Pat. Some of the stories are funny. But they are all worthy of reading over and over again.

Pat Conroy will live on in his reader’s hearts and in his many heartfelt and amazing novels and even a cookbook.

Rick Bragg says,” I never met anyone like Pat. He could write with an elegance that made most writers either envious or hopeless, yet was generous and encouraging, a champion.”

Barbra Streisand says,” Pat Conroy was a force for good in our world. with courage and grace, he brought the gifts of the devastating beauty of his writing and his transcendent vision of the human heart to the lives of the readers he touched and the writers he inspired.”

We’re about to jump into the gift-giving season. Perfect present for the reader on your list.

My review copy came from UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA PRESS. Thanks, guys!

What is Maurice Reading Now? Far, Far Ahead….

Susan Meissner

The Last Year of the War

I have stacks of review copies of books coming out way into the New Year, many not until spring. I chose THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner from the top of my stack. How do I choose? Good question. The cover has to call me. Sometimes it’s the author’s name. The first chapter simply must jump right off the page. I don’t have time to fool around.

Look at the cover of this one. I think it’s good. And I love the author. Meissner had a winner last year with AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN. I remember many of my book clubs being intently interested in that one. Hoping this new one coming in March will be just as engaging. I will keep you posted.

WHAT DID I JUST FINISH?

teaching

The Secret of Clouds

Alyson Richman is one of my favorite authors. THE LOST WIFE and THE VELVET HOURS were both great.  I had high expectations for THE SECRET OF CLOUDS.  And they were met.  Since this book will not be available for sale until February 19, I will be posting my review closer to pub date. Those of you who have booked me to speak at your clubs will get an early review.

WHAT I’LL BE UP TO THESE NEXT WEEKS.

I don’t do speaking engagements during the month of December.  It does give me time to read and wade through the stacks. I am super busy mid -January straight on through end of season.

I am preparing a gift list for the holidays which I will post in stages according to genre.  I will also post Maurice’s Top Books for 2018. This year is going to be especially challenging since there are so many great ones!

I hope everyone enjoyed a Happy Thanksgiving with all the trimmings and family visits. We sure had a houseful. Even took the time to visit Disney World with my daughter and her two children.  Very busy. So many riding contraptions and strollers.  Disney is a petri dish of germs. Sadly, both kids were sick with a stomach virus. But have completely recovered.

The holidays are stressful. Families each have their own angst. So many blended families. So much pressure. I am taking a deep breath and pushing through. Since I always have something amazing to read, it’s a nice diversion. I hope you all have some great books in your TBR pile. I will keep you posted through the next few weeks about the best books to read right now.

Don’t forget to keep an open mind. You never know: a great book might just fall in!

 

Tony’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani

Tony’s Wife

Get yourself ready for a big, fat Italian saga set on the Jersey shore, Vegas, and Hollywood. BIG.

When Chiara (Chi Chi ) Donatelli was growing up with  her sisters in a middle class Italian family on the Jersey Shore, she knew two things: she wanted a singing career; and she never wanted to get married and be beholding to a man!

Fast forward to a chance meeting on the beach one summer. Chi Chi meets Saverio Armandonada. The rest is practically history.

Saverio’s father kicked him out of the house one snowy Christmas Eve. They just didn’t understand each other.  Feeling unloved by his father and sick and tired of bowing down to his dad’s every wish, he walked out of the life he’d been living in Detroit.  And this all right after finding out the love of his life was marrying another man.

Chi Chi and Saverio become a swinging duo. She not only sings but writes songs. Really good ones.  Of course the only woman he wants is her. Finally, she comes around and they become married. He becomes Tony Arma the famous crooner, traveling to do shows all over the world.  Chi Chi finds herself stuck at home raising the family while Tony runs the roads and their relationship begins unraveling.  Doesn’t help that even though Tony is wildly in love with Chi Chi, the man can not keep “it” in his pants.

So how’s a girl supposed to sustain a career? Something’s gotta give. I should say someone has to give.

This is a big family saga that will rock your heart. I wanted to bang Tony over the head with a crock pot more than once. But Chi Chi is a good Catholic girl who does not believe in divorce….. But she’s smart with money, thank God.

One of the things that drew Tony to Chi Chi was her big family and their sense of love and devotion to one another. He is torn. But he is a very flawed man. You watch him struggle over and over.

Even though this novel is a big one, I found myself quickly moving through the pages becoming more and more enmeshed in the lives of Tony and Chi Chi. After all, Trigiani is the queen of writing good Italian families.

We have gorgeous hard copies of TONY’S WIFE on sale at 20% off at Copperfish Books. Come on in and see us. We have all the hot new books!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

My stunning review copy of TONY’S WIFE came from the publishing company of Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. What a keeper!

A Red Hot Journey Through The Stacks With Susan Orlean

non fiction

The Library Book

April, 1986, the fire alarm goes off at the Los Angeles Central Library. The patrons leave their personal items and borrowed books spread out on tables and chairs and head for the exits. This is surely routine. After all, these fire alarms are always false. Or are they? Not this time.

Fire fighters fought the fire for seven agonizing  hours. It burned at 2000 degrees and destroyed 400,000 books, damaging another 700,000. The staggering numbers are mind blowing.  How could this happen? Was it arson? Or accident?

NYT bestselling author Susan Orlean delves deeply into the whys and wherefores of this tragic book event. Books and libraries are her passion and she manages to bring this to the page of her new book ‘THE LIBRARY BOOK.”

I’ve been enjoying the books of Orlean since she introduced us to the secrets of the ghost orchid in “THE ORCHID THIEF” in 1998. A bestselling movie was made using the book as a base.

author

Susan Orlean

So, back to the book at hand. Arson? Some immediately pointed the finger at a young man who had been seen in the library that very morning. Harry Peak was a young actor with a shady background. Orlean goes above and beyond with her search into Peak’s past. But to what avail?  Accident? Maybe.  It’s been more than thirty years and the puzzle is still not solved. But the story Orlean brings vividly to life in her new book is brilliant. I adore this book. It’s the perfect gift for the reader on your list.

Do you remember the news the day of the fire? Probably not. I have a vague memory of it. The big news item that day vastly overshadowed the fire. You see, Chernobyl blew its top that day and it was THE news item.

I’ve always loved spending time in libraries. I have my mom and grandmother to thank for it. I was twelve when they would send me down the street to our local library to pick out mysteries for them. We lived in a tiny town in Delaware and our library was housed in an old three-story house. I still recall standing on a stool to reach the books high up on shelves. I would  open the books up to the back and slide the library card out to see if their names were listed. Young people will not know what I am talking about. This was way before automation. People signed their names on the card and borrowed the books. I was always able to bring home mysteries neither of them had read.

I learned a lot about how libraries run, how the books arrive, how they’re distributed, and about the people who lovingly work in the libraries. Wonderful stuff for book nerds like me.

This unique book is coming along with me on my lecture tour this season. I want every book lover to know how wonderful and important it is.

My review copy came from SIBA and is published by Simon & Schuster. This is a major book and is one of my favorites this year!

Punta Gorda

Copperfish Books

We have gorgeous finished hard covers of THE LIBRARY BOOK at Copperfish Books. They are discounted 20% and are also available online.  Come on up to see us. We’d love to talk to you about books!