Orphan Train, which brings to life the people and setting of Cushing, Maine - in particular Christina Olson, the subject of American realist painter Andrew Wyeth's famous Christina's World.
I See You, Clare Mackintosh's clever and plausible psychological thriller set in the London Underground, which looks like it will follow in the successful footsteps of her bestselling debut novel I Let You Go.
Each month we give away books to U.S. resident members to read and review (or discuss). Members who choose to participate receive a free book about every three months. Here are their opinions on three recent releases.
Caught in the Revolution: Petrograd, Russia, 1917 - A World on the Edge by Helen Rappaport
Publisher: St. Martin's Press Publication Date: Feb 2017 History, Science & Current Affairs, 448 pages
Number of reader reviews: 25 Readers' consensus: 4.4/5.0
Members Say "I finished this book last night and I'm still speechless. We have all read about the Russian Revolution of 1917, but not this way, from the non Russian observers. And you are not reading, your are there! Ms. Rappaport started collecting eyewitness and written accounts of this monumental period, many years ago. She somehow, phenomenally has gathered these in a book that gives you the impression you are actually watching and reacting to real events. ... Bravo!" - Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO)
"Helen Rappaport has captured the beauty of Petrograd (St Petersburg), the exquisite lifestyle of the foreign ambassador's and the opulence of the Russian aristocracy, and the anguish of the working class ... I anxiously await her next book." - Charlene M. (Murrells Inlet, SC)
"This is not a pretty story, but one that speaks volumes in our time. Russia was forever changed. I highly recommend this book." - Marjorie H. (Woodstock, GA)
"Book clubs will love this book. So many questions here to be fielded and discussed." - Peggy K. (San Diego, CA)
Publisher: William Morrow Publication Date: Feb 2017 Historical Fiction, 320 pages
Number of reader reviews: 41 Readers' consensus: 4.7/5.0
Members Say "The author of the best-selling Orphan Train scales new literary heights with this story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth's famous 1948 portrait we know as "Christina's World." The novel draws profoundly and poignantly from American - particularly New England - literary sources and to an overpowering denouement. With delicate palette, stark images, sharp tones and loving care, the author has written this novel the way Andrew Wyeth painted the canvas." - John O'Donnell (Philadelphia, PA)
"The writing is exquisite--each word considered, each vision portrayed with care." - Mary P. (Bellingham, WA)
"I highly recommend A Piece of The World to anyone who enjoys well researched, engaging historical fiction. This would be a great selection for book discussion groups. I am looking forward to reading other books that Ms. Kline has written." - Jean N. (New Richmond, OH)
"I felt like I could breathe the Maine air and hear the waves crashing while reading it. I will definitely recommend it to my very well-read book group." - Carol R. (Pembroke, MA)
Publisher: Berkley Books Publication Date: Feb 2017 Thrillers, 384 pages
Number of reader reviews: 21 Readers' consensus: 4.4/5.0
Members Say "The success of her first novel, I Let You Go, made Clare Mackintosh wonder whether her second effort would measure up at all. She need not have worried! This novel grabs you from the beginning and doesn't let you go with twists and turns right up until the last page. I literally read this book in an afternoon and evening; it's that good." - Julie M. (Golden Valley, MN)
"Just when I thought I had the mystery solved, I was blown away by the ending. A great read!" - Patricia S. (New Canaan, CT)
"Highly recommended if you like quick-paced thrillers. This would make a good book club discussion book too." - DeAnn A. (Denver, CO)
"I thoroughly enjoyed this well-crafted psychological thriller... The author creates well-developed characters and the plot is a different take on the usual stalker story. In particular, I like the way she creates diversions with several characters, making each one the possible mastermind. Many of the scenes, especially those in the London Underground, create an eerie and ominous atmosphere ... Great read." - Harley's Mom (Ocala, FL)
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Beyond the Book: The Tube
Every time we review a book we also explore a related topic. Here is a recent "beyond the book" article for I See You by Clare Mackintosh
The world's first underground railway opened in London in 1863 between Paddington and Farringdon stations using steam engines to pull gas-lit wooden carriages along the almost four mile, 6 station, route. In its first twelve months, almost 10 million passengers were transported. The early network was built in shallow tunnels and needed many vents to allow engine smoke and steam to escape.
Then, at the turn of the 20th century, the invention of electric traction allowed for much deeper tunnels, and replacement lines were created. Today, The London Underground, known to most as the Tube, serves 270 stations and has 11 different lines that link central London to distant suburbs many of which, 150 years ago, were small villages separated by stretches of open space from each other and from the heart of London. Thus, the Tube (the setting for much of Clare Mackintosh's I See You) has deep roots in London's history; and it adds to the cultural wealth of London in more ways than simply transporting five million passengers a day. For example: ...continued
Debut novels are always great fun to keep an eye on. They are full of promise and if a book demonstrates ability there's a certain heady joy in realizing that you are among the first to recognize a new talent in ascendance. BookBrowse loves debut authors because we know how much book lovers value the thrill of a find, in seeking out that special talent and getting in on the action with a ringside seat. In this edition, we feature half a dozen outstanding debuts, all of which are now released in paperback. To make things even better for your book club, these selections also have reading guides to kick-start discussions. Happy reading!
The answer to last Week's Wordplay: Y C Fool A T P A T T
"You Cannot Fool All the People All the Time"
This expression is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but, in fact, there is no contemporary evidence that he ever said or wrote it. The earliest known attribution to Lincoln is in Abe Lincoln's Yarns and Other Stories by Alexander K. McClure, published in 1904, almost 40 years after Lincoln's death:
"If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you cannot fool all of the people all the time."
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