Friday, June 26, 2015

July 2015’s five most anticipated books

Harper Lee’s novel (written in the 1950’s, before To Kill a Mockingbird and only recently “discovered” by her attorney) will be released on July 14 with TWO MILLION copies in the first printing.

Scout Finch, now an adult and living in New York, returns to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father, Atticus, 20 years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird. Many of the same characters appear in both novels. According to the publisher, Scout “is forced to grapple with issues both personal and political as she tries to understand her father’s
attitude toward society and her own feelings about the place where she was born and spent her childhood.”

Parenthetically, the auction sale of six of Harper Lee’s letters failed. (See this blog 6/11/15 for discussion). Their value was estimated by Christie’s as between $150,000 and $250,000 but the highest bid was $90,000. Christie’s announced that the letters might again be put up for auction in the future by Paul Kennerson, a book collector who owns them.

Former President Jimmy Carter’s memoir, A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety, will be released on July 7 with an initial run of 250,000 copies.

According to the publisher, Carter “reflects on his public and private life with a frankness that is disarming.” He describes the “profound influence his mother had on him and how he admired his father even though he didn’t emulate him.”

He writes of his youth in rural Georgia, the prevalent racism, his family’s isolation, the brutality of the Annapolis hazing regimen, his subsequent experiences on submarines and his interview with Admiral Rickover.

In A Full Life, Carter discusses what he might have done differently. While he regrets losing his re-election, he and Rosalynn pushed on and made a new life, he writes, and had second and third rewarding careers. Again, according to his publisher, “He is frank about the presidents who have succeeded him, world leaders, and his passions for the causes he cares most about, particularly the condition of women and the deprived people of the developing world.”

Code of Conduct: A Thriller is Brad Thor’s 14th book in the Scot Harvath series. It will be released on July 7 with an initial run of 650,000 copies. According to Thor’s website (

“Hidden deep within one of the world’s most powerful organizations is a secret committee with a devastating agenda. Its members are afforded incredible protections –considered elites, untouchables. But when four seconds of video is captured halfway around the world and anonymously transmitted to D.C., covert wheels are set in motion, and counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is tapped to undertake the deadliest assignment of his career.

What begins as a favor will evolve into a globe-spanning drama of highly personal stakes played out against a backdrop of stunning international intrigue, duplicitous political gamesmanship, and the darkest, most clandestine fears of the espionage world.”

David Rosenfeld, who describes himself as “a novelist with 27 dogs,” has two books coming out on July 21.

Who Let the Dog Out is the latest in the Andy Carpenter series. Andy is a lawyer but only when forced to take on new cases. His real passion is the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue organization he runs with his buddy Willie Miller. There’s a break-in and a recently rescued dog called Cheyenne is stolen. When they track her down, she is standing next to the body of a gruesomely murdered man.

The cops arrest one Tommy Infante but Carpenter thinks he may be innocent. According to Rosenfelt’s website: “And when Andy takes Infante on as a client and starts searching in earnest for evidence that will exonerate him, what Andy starts to discover terrifies him. The murder might be just one small cog in a plot with far-reaching implications, and unless Andy can uncover the truth in time, thousands of lives could be in imminent danger.”

The non-fiction Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World’s Most Brilliant Dog is named for Tara, a golden retriever who was Rosenfelt’s own dog but who has also appeared as Andy’s sidekick in several of the novels. Rosenfelt’s real-life rescue operation is also named in her honor. He writes:

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It’s total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.

Rosenfelt says Lessons from Tara is his account of “becoming a slightly nutty dog rescuer and the dog that started it all.”

Here, finally, is a book all about the inspirational canine who taught David everything he knows. Well, he did know how to tie his shoes before he met and came to love Tara, but that’s about it.

Through Tara, David learned about dating, about being able to share his emotions, and also about everyday stuff like who gets to use the pillow if several dogs are sleeping in your bed (clue: It’s not the human) and why random barking will never be something that can be eliminated.

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