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Nominations for June (Literary Fiction) and July (Chick Lit)

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Old 05-02-11, 12:33 AM
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Exclamation Nominations for June (Literary Fiction) and July (Chick Lit)

Killing two birds with one stone here, since I'm behind asking for June nominations. Please nominate two books, one literary fiction book for June and one chick lit book for July.
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Old 05-02-11, 01:23 AM
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June- If You Lived Here: A Novel -Dana Sachs

Sachs revisits in her fiction debut many of the themes she explored in A House on Dream Street, her memoir about living in Vietnam in the early 1990s. The story begins in Wilmington, N.C., where Xuan Mai has built a successful Asian grocery business in the more than 20 years since she fled Hanoi. Estranged from her family in Vietnam and reluctant to form new connections in America, Mai doesn't know what to make of Shelley Marino, an American customer who asks a lot of questions about Vietnam. It turns out that Shelley is trying to adopt a Vietnamese boy. However, Shelley's husband, Martin, who has two grown sons from a previous marriage, forces Shelley to choose between him and adopting, prompting Shelley to urge Mai to accompany her to Vietnam to complete the adoption. Once there, Mai discovers a land very different from the war-torn, impoverished country she left in the late 1970s. The novel, alternating Shelley's and Mai's narration, comes alive when the setting shifts to Vietnam, revealing the author's love for the rapidly changing country. Mai's reconciliation with her past is absorbing, Shelley's story is less so, and the adoption plot line relies too heavily on bureaucratic dysfunction for its drama. (Mar.)
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition
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Old 05-02-11, 01:28 AM
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July- The Love Goddess' Cooking School-Melissa Senate

Description:
Camilla's Cucinotta: Italian Cooking Classes. Fresh take-home pastas & sauces daily. Benvenuti! (Welcome!)

Holly Maguire's grandmother Camilla was the Love Goddess of Blue Crab Island, Maine--a Milanese fortune-teller who could predict the right man for you, and whose Italian cooking was rumored to save marriages. Holly has been waiting years for her unlikely fortune: her true love will like sa cordula, an unappetizing old-world delicacy. But Holly can't make a decent marinara sauce, let alone sa cordula. Maybe that's why the man she hopes to marry breaks her heart. So when Holly inherits Camilla's Cucinotta, she's determined to forget about fortunes and love and become an Italian cooking teacher worthy of her grandmother's legacy. But Holly's four students are seeking much more than how to make Camilla's chicken alla Milanese. Simon, a single father, hopes to cook his way back into his daughter's heart. Juliet, Holly's childhood friend, hides a painful secret. Tamara, a serial dater, can't find the love she longs for. And twelve-year-old Mia thinks learning to cook will stop her dad, Liam, from marrying his phony lasagna-queen girlfriend. As the class gathers each week, adding Camilla's essential ingredients of wishes and memories in every pot and pan, unexpected friendships and romances are formed--and tested. Especially when Holly falls hard for Liam . . . and learns a thing or two about finding her own recipe for happiness.


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Old 05-02-11, 12:16 PM
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June: Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

In this wildly funny debut from former ad man Ferris, a group of copywriters and designers at a Chicago ad agency face layoffs at the end of the '90s boom. Indignation rises over the rightful owner of a particularly coveted chair ("We felt deceived"). Gonzo e-mailer Tom Mota quotes Walt Whitman and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the midst of his tirades, desperately trying to retain a shred of integrity at a job that requires a ruthless attention to what will make people buy things. Jealousy toward the aloof and "inscrutable" middle manager Joe Pope spins out of control. Copywriter Chris Yop secretly returns to the office after he's laid off to prove his worth. Rumors that supervisor Lynn Mason has breast cancer inspire blood lust, remorse, compassion. Ferris has the downward-spiraling office down cold, and his use of the narrative "we" brilliantly conveys the collective fear, pettiness, idiocy and also humanity of high-level office drones as anxiety rises to a fever pitch. Only once does Ferris shift from the first person plural (for an extended fugue on Lynn's realization that she may be ill), and the perspective feels natural throughout. At once delightfully freakish and entirely credible, Ferris's cast makes a real impression.


July: The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson

Johnson's bittersweet and often humorous hen-lit debut portrays the lives of five very different Southern women: compassionate Lorraine, bossy Margaret, grief-stricken Bernice, ambitious April and brusque Rhonda. At the center of this character-driven novel is Lorraine, a nurse at the nursing home where Margaret and Bernice live. As the three women drift into friendship, hairdresser Rhonda arrives to take a part-time job, and the older women begin to change her life. Lorraine's daughter, April, meanwhile, is also gradually drawn into the circle. The story unfolds slowly over decades and life milestones, giving the characters plenty of time to reveal themselves. Johnson has a sure ear for Southern speech, though the dialect can become tiresome, and the narrative's lack of plot makes the novel feel overlong. Nevertheless, the underlying message of the power of love and friendship resonates, as does its depiction of the way in which people leading unremarkable lives can have a tremendous impact on those around them.
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Old 05-03-11, 02:41 AM
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June- Star Lake Saloon and Housekeeping Cottages by Sara Rath.

From Booklist
Rath's debut novel tells the story of Hannah Swann, a Wisconsin poetry professor who suddenly inherits a rustic lakeside resort in the north woods run by her enigmatic prodigal uncle Hal. Leaving her work and an affair with a married man behind in Madison, Hannah heads north, where an expected bit of paperwork and a few days quickly turn into months. A mining corporation is trying to buy the resort, and it has money and power and even Hannah's devious lawyer on its side. Hannah finds herself having to put her liberal ideals to work, giving up her old life to save the place with help from a cast of lively characters. Many of them, unfortunately, are caricatures, and Rath's action is often a bit overboard as well. But readers will enjoy how Rath has thrown in a bit of everything--mystery, family drama, love story, and comedy--and will certainly like getting to know Hannah as she fights big business, hot flashes, and her own resistance to this wild and lovely place. Donna Seaman
Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


July- There's cake in my future by Kim Gruenenfelder.

From Publishers Weekly
Gruenenfelder's scriptwriting background comes through loud and clear in her third chick lit romance (after 2009's Misery Loves Cabernet). Nic is about to get married; Seema is stuck in platonic misery with an Orlando Bloom look-alike; and Mel can't get her divorce lawyer live-in to commit. At the bridal shower, Nic hatches a wonderful plan for each woman to pull a wish-granting charm out of the cake. The plan goes astray, of course, leaving them to fear their unintended fates and fail to cope with real life in maximally dramatic fashion. The temptation to echo Nic's nine-year-old stepdaughter is almost irresistible: "Suck it up, grow a pair, and let's go!" In a girls-just-wanna-have-fun way, however, this is a good read, hip and amusing without ever thinking too hard. (Jan.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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