Tag Archives: James Lee Burke

Two essential Simon & Schuster books: “Norwich” and “Robicheaux”

Norwich, a charming Vermont town of roughly 3,000 residents, has sent an athlete to almost every Winter Olympics for the past 30 years—and three times that athlete has returned with a medal.

How does Norwich do it?

To answer this question, New York Times reporter Karen Crouse moved to Vermont, immersing herself in the lives of Norwich Olympians past and present. There, amidst the organic farms and clapboard colonial buildings, she discovered a culture that’s the opposite of the hyper-competitive schoolyard of today’s tiger moms and eagle dads. In Norwich, kids aren’t cut from teams. They don’t specialize in a single sport, and they even root for their rivals.

book coverWhat’s more, their hands-off parents encourage them to simply enjoy themselves. Making it to the Olympics is seen not as the pinnacle of an athlete’s career but as a fun stop on the way to achieving other, longer-lasting dreams. Norwich, Crouse realized, wasn’t just raising better athletes than the rest of America; it was raising happier, healthier kids.

Full of inspiring stories of Olympians who excelled on and off the sports field—and had a blast doing so—Norwich: One Tiny Vermont Town’s Secret to Happiness and Excellence ($26) is the book for every parent who wants to raise kids to be levelheaded, fulfilled, and successful.


Dave Robicheaux is a haunted man. Between his recurrent nightmares about Vietnam, his battle with alcoholism, and the sudden loss of his beloved wife, Molly, his thoughts drift from one irreconcilable memory to the next. Images of ghosts at Spanish Lake live on the edge of his vision.

book coverDuring a murder investigation, Robicheaux discovers he may have committed the homicide he’s investigating, one which involved the death of the man who took the life of Dave’s beloved wife. As he works to clear his name and make sense of the murder, Robicheaux encounters a cast of characters and a resurgence of dark social forces that threaten to destroy all of those whom he loves. What emerges is Robicheaux ($27.99), not only a propulsive and thrilling novel, but a harrowing study of America . . . the nation’s abiding conflict between a sense of past grandeur and a legacy of shame, its easy seduction by demagogues and wealth, and its predilection for violence and revenge. James Lee Burke has returned with one of America’s favorite characters, in his most searing, most prescient novel to date.

Holiday Gift Guide 2016: The Year’s Best Fiction Books (Part One)

We truly believe that Mary Higgins Clark on her cut-and-paste mind. Often. Too often. Maybe co-author Alafair Burke has something to do with making The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Simon & Schuster, $26.99) a better read than usual. We refuse the reveal anything more about this book, the third installment in the Under Suspicion, other than television producer Laurie Moran puts everything on the line to help a woman she thinks was wrongfully convicted of murder. Beauty Killer will keep you guessing until the very end.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. What happens when a life is turned inside out? Alice Hoffman always hits a home run; Faithful (Simon & Schuster, $26) is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap to healing.

Ever since Super Heroes like Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy started stomping around planet Earth, we’ve had to open our horizons a little and embrace the wider reaches of space. If you’re thinking of journeying to one of the many new realms for a little R ‘n R, then don’t leave home without Hidden Universe Travel Guides: The Complete Marvel Cosmos: With Notes by the Guardians of the Galaxy (Insight Editions, $19.99) Universe’s guide to the cosmos. Whether you’re looking to enjoy the divine splendor of Asgard or soak up the multicultural atmosphere of intergalactic waypoint Knowhere, this is the book for you.

In this gripping page-turner, an ex-agent on the run from her former employers must take one more case to clear her name and save her life. She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon . . . can you put down Stephanie Meyer’s The Chemist (Little, Brown and Company, $28)? 

Thinking no one is reading, a blogger who calls herself LBH writes about her most personal feelings, especially her overwhelming loneliness. She goes from day to day showing a brave face to the world while inside she longs to know how it would feel if one person cared about her. Alex Bartlett cares. Nursing his own broken heart and trust issues, he finds himself falling for this sensitive, vulnerable woman whose feelings mirror his own.  And then he ventures to find her . . . Richard Paul Evans story unravels in The Mistletoe Secret (Simon & Schuster, $19.99)

The world is watching as massive crowds gather in Rome, waiting for news of a new pope, one who promises to be unlike any other in history. It’s a turning point that may change the Church forever. Some followers are ecstatic that the movement reinvigorating the Church is about to reach the Vatican, but the leading candidate has The world is watching as massive crowds gather in Rome, waiting for news of a new pope, one who promises to be unlike any other in history. It’s a turning point that may change the Church forever. Some followers are ecstatic that the movement reinvigorating the Church is about to reach the Vatican, but the leading candidate has made a legion of powerful enemies who aren’t afraid to kill for their cause. Is it possible that the new Pope is a woman?” James Patterson’s Woman of God (Little, Brown and Company) is a gem!

In a spine-tingling new collection, Helen Phillips offers an idiosyncratic series of “what-ifs” about our fragile human condition. Some Possible Solutions (Henry Holt, $26) offers an idiosyncratic series of “What ifs”: What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet? What if you could suddenly see through everybody’s skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgangers of you? Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips’ characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. We especially love the wealthy woman who purchases a high-tech sex toy in the shape of a man.  A hoot!

After a harrowing, otherworldly confrontation on the shores of Exmouth, Massachussetts, Special Agent A.X.L. Pendergast is missing, presumed dead. Sick with grief, Pendergast’s ward, Constance, retreats to her chambers beneath the family mansion at 891 Riverside Drive–only to be taken captive by a shadowy figure from the past. Proctor, Pendergast’s longtime bodyguard, springs to action, chasing Constance’s kidnapper through cities, across oceans, and into wastelands unknown. And by the time Proctor discovers the truth, a terrifying engine has stirred-and it may already be too late. The twists and turns in The Obsidian Chamber (Grand Central Publishing, $28) will keep you up later.

James Lee Burke’s The Jealous Kind  (Simon and Schuster, $27.99), is an atmospheric, coming-of-age story set in 1952 Texas. On its surface, life in Houston is as you would expect: drive-in restaurants, souped-up cars, jukeboxes, teenagers discovering their sexuality. But beneath the glitz and superficial normalcy, a class war has begun, and it is nothing like the conventional portrayal of the decade.The Jealous Kind: A Novel (A Holland Family Novel) by [Burke, James Lee]Against this backdrop Aaron Holland Broussard discovers the poignancy of first love and a world of violence he did not know existed. Written in evocative prose, The Jealous Kind may prove to be James Lee Burke’s most encompassing work yet.

Rita Dove’s Collected Poems 1974-2004 (W.W. Norton, $35.99) showcases the wide-ranging diversity that earned her a Pulitzer Prize, the position of U.S. poet laureate, a National Humanities Medal and a National Medal of Art. Gathering 30 years and seven books, this volume compiles Dove’s fresh reflections on adolescence in The Yellow House on the Corner and her irreverent musings in Museum. She sets the moving love story of Thomas and Beulah against the backdrop of war, industrialization, and the civil right struggles. The multifaceted gems of Grace Notes, the exquisite reinvention of Greek myth in the sonnets of Mother Love, the troubling rapids of recent history in On the Bus with Rosa Parks, and the homage to America’s kaleidoscopic cultural heritage in American Smooth all celebrate Dove’s mastery of narrative context with lyrical finesse.

Russell Green has it all: A stunning wife, a lovable six-year-old daughter, a successful career as an advertising executive and an expansive home in Charlotte. He is living the dream, and his marriage to the bewitching Vivian is the center of that. But underneath the shiny surface of this perfect existence, fault lines are beginning to appear. And no one is more surprised than Russ when he finds every aspect of the life he took for granted turned upside down. In a matter of months, Russ finds himself without a job or wife, caring for his young daughter while struggling to adapt to a new and baffling reality. Throwing himself into the wilderness of single parenting, Russ embarks on a journey at once terrifying and rewarding-one that will test his abilities and his emotional resources beyond anything he ever imagined. Such is the magic of Nicholas Sparks’ Two by Two (Grand Central Publishing, $27).