Patricia’s Fresh Picks for December 2014

Okay, I admit it: between baking, attending Christmas concerts, wrapping presents and other festivities, there isn’t much time left for reading in December.  Still, a girl can dream.  If you manage to squeeze some pleasure reading into the busy weeks ahead, here’s what I recommend:

emmaEmma by Alexander McCall Smith*

Yes, that Emma! Emma is the latest retelling of Jane Austen’s work to come out of The Austen Project.  Previous works include Val McDermid’s deliciously modern Northanger Abbey and Joanna Trollope’s Sense and Sensibility.  I can’t think of anyone whose writing style would better lend itself well to the material.  It should be enough to tide us all over until Curtis Sittenfeld’s Pride and Prejudice comes out next year.

thereonceThere Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children Until They Moved Back In by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya*

Confession:  I’m usually sucked into Petrushevskaya’s short stories by their evocative titles.  Her previous works include: There Once Lived A Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband, and He Hanged Himself and There Once Lived a Woman who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby.  


holdthedarkHold the Dark by William Giraldi

The NY Times raves, “Hold the Dark is an unnerving and intimate portrayal of nature gone awry. It forces us to confront a menacing otherness that lies beyond the typical order of things. It’s all but bereft of levity, spectacularly violent and exquisitely written. If dust jackets were more than paper and ink, this one would bear blood and frost.”


Happy reading!


*Thanks to NetGalley and Edelweiss for providing advanced readers copies of these titles.

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