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September 2011 Book of the Month: Poll

Posted: Mon July 11th, 2011, 3:11 am
by boswellbaxter
Voting ends July 15:

On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers:
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. World Fantasy Award–winner Powers (Three Days to Never) demonstrates a precise control of complex narratives in this reprint of his rollicking and enchanting 1987 novel. Puppeteer John Chandagnac, bound for Jamaica to recover stolen money from his uncle, becomes Jack Shandy after pirates attack his ship and force him to join their crew. Shandy's struggle to accept his new life grounds the story for readers, even as Blackbeard and vodun magicians whisk everyone away to dreamlike lands where the Fountain of Youth itself awaits. The chaotic sea battles sing, though at times key events happen so quickly that they get lost in the shuffle as Jack tries to comprehend where he's going and what's at stake. This dark fantasy tale will appeal not just to pirate fans but also to anyone who appreciates Powers's talent for blending the most unlikely elements into a brilliantly cohesive whole. (Apr.)
The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
Narnia. . .where the woods are thick and cool, where Talking Beasts are called to life. . .a new world where the adventure begins.

Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to. . .somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis, before they finally return home.

Digory and Polly discover a secret passage that links their houses and are tricked into vanishing out of this world and into the World of Charn, where they wake up the evil Queen Jadis. There, they witness the creation of the Land of Narnia as it is sung into being by the Great Lion, Aslan.
Black Ships by Jo Graham
The World is ending. One by one the mighty cities are falling: to earthquakes, to flood and to raiders - on both land and sea. In a time of war and doubt, Gull is an oracle, a mouthpiece of the gods. Daughter of a slave plundered from fallen Troy, she was chosen as a child to serve the Lady of the Dead, and it is her fate to counsel kings. When nine black ships appear as foretold in her dreams, captained by an exiled Trojan prince, Gull must make her choice. She must decide between her sacred calling and the most perilous adventure - joining her mother's people in their desperate flight from slavery. From the doomed bastions of the City of Pirates to the temples of Byblos, from the intrigues of the Egyptian court to the haunted caves beneath Mount Vesuvius, only Gull can guide Prince Aeneas on his quest. And only she can dare the gates of the Underworld itself to lead him to his destiny. In the last shadowed days of the Age of Bronze, one woman dreams of the world beginning anew. This is her story.
The Lions of Al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Kay draws on the crumbling empire of medieval Spain to inspire this tale of brutality and romance. . Kay provides insightful glimpses into the goals and motives of his many characters, including King Almalik of Cartada, his advisor Ammar ibn Khairan, a young soldier, Alvar de Pellino, and the compelling female physician Jehane. Mindful of the confusion that alternate universes can create for readers, Kay is careful to periodically summarize the current positions of the various factions in the struggles between the many kingdoms in the empire. Studded with poetry that is evocative of Spain (some selections are reminiscent of El Cid), the story is buttressed with convincing cultural and social details and descriptions of medicine as it was practiced in the 12th century.
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel.
Earthy, magical, and utterly charming, this tale of family life in turn-of-the-century Mexico became a best-selling phenomenon with its winning blend of poignant romance and bittersweet wit.

The number one bestseller in Mexico and America for almost two years, and subsequently a bestseller around the world, "Like Water For Chocolate" is a romantic, poignant tale, touched with moments of magic, graphic earthiness, bittersweet wit - and recipes.

A sumptuous feast of a novel, it relates the bizarre history of the all-female De La Garza family. Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks. In desperation, Pedro marries her sister Rosaura so that he can stay close to her. For the next twenty-two years, Tita and Pedro are forced to circle each other in unconsummated passion. Only a freakish chain of tragedies, bad luck and fate finally reunite them against all the odds.