Joining Book of the Month is a simple and fun way to find hot new books. Each month you select and receive one of five featured titles chosen by the Judges. (Check out the current Judges here.) Then you visit the discussions forum to chat about your monthly selection.
Here are my latest reads from Book of the Month:
August: Freedom's Child by Jax Miller
(Book of the Month Judge's summary)Freedom, a bartender and a self-described "murderer, cop killer, fugitive, and drunk," pours potent drinks as customers in Painter, Oregon, spill their sins to her. What the patrons don't know is that Freedom is full of her own secrets too. For starters, the ink-stained redhead is living under a Witness Protection Program for killing her abusive, police officer husband. Now, Matthew, Freedom's sleazebag former brother-in-law, has just been released from prison and is looking to avenge his sibling's murder. To lure Freedom out of hiding, Matthew uses the toughest line of bait to tug on Freedom's hardened heartstrings: the two grown children she gave up for adoption long ago.
What's a woman to do? For Freedom, that means hopping on her Harley-Davidson to protect her shattered family. What's a reader to do? Sit back and enjoy a wild ride through America's rusty, neglected back roads, where loners and hitchhikers have created an informal economy with its own bizarre rites and rules. This razor-sharp journey is littered with some shady and scary characters including bad-to-the-bone bikers, an apocalyptic cult, and a 600-pound, cocaine peddling mean mama who wants to take Freedom out, for good. That we care more deeply about Freedom through each of these dizzying and dangerous encounters makes Miller's audacious first novel that much more remarkable.
September: A Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman
(Book of the Month Judge's summary)In The Marriage of Opposites, the prolific author creates a colorful canvas on which she tells the fascinating story of Impressionist painter Camille Pissaro's spirited and defiant mother Rachel Pizzaro, whose love for her son helped shape the future of painting.
Growing up in a strict refugee community in St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel is a difficult and willful child, a trait on display from the story's opening lines: "I always left my window open at night, despite the warnings I'd been given. I rarely did as I was told. According to my mother, this had been my response to life ever since my birth, for it took three days for me to arrive in the world." Her independence and daring ultimately results in a torrid and forbidden love affair that has long-reaching consequences for everyone in her life, most of all Camille.
St. Thomas proves a worthy playground for Hoffman's signature blend of folklore and family, intrigue and magic. She constructs an intricate world where pirates have "more than a dozen wives," parrots "speak four languages" and shells not only "reveal pearls," but also "birds as tall as men who danced for each other in the marshes." Juxtaposing this dreamscape are (literal) ghosts haunting descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews expelled by Queen Isabella during the Inquisition.
I am very pleased with the selections offered each month. There is a great mix of books I do and don't know about. This service would be great for any reader but I think it would be a really great gift for the upcoming holiday season. To start your subscription or to give a gift subscription, get started here.