By Angie Georgeff
Many of the books written by my favorite authors tend to be published in either September or October. Looking ahead, I took a few minutes last week to check the website of the company from which we buy most of our books. I was happy to find several promising new books coming soon to a library near you.
If you have wondered for years what fate might have awaited Offred at the conclusion of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “The Testaments” is the sequel for you. If you were a fan of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout’s “Olive Kitteredge,” her sequel “Olive, Again” will answer your questions. Ruth Ware’s thriller “The Turn of the Key” is coming in August; Alice Hoffman’s novel “The World That We Knew” is expected in September.
As you can see, I am a planner, focused on the future much of the time. Nevertheless, I do realize that July, of all the months, is the time for living in the present. The long sunny days, cocooning warmth, fresh food and summer vacations should be savored and not pushed aside in our rush to get back to work and school. I think Shakespeare phrased it well in his “Sonnet 18” way back in 1609, “… summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
Well, we still have one full week of July remaining. Take a good book out onto the porch and sit a spell with a tall, icy glass of sweet tea. And if you fall asleep, congratulations! Naps happen. Either way, I know it will do you a world of good.
Good fiction transcends the “audience” categories we use when classifying library books. Many classics originally written with adults in mind are now found on the shelves alongside contemporary books aimed at teens. Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone with the Wind” and Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” are just two examples. This apparent drift toward a younger audience, however, is not a one-way street. Robert Beatty’s fourth installment in his bestselling Serafina series is one of the most highly anticipated books of the summer. “Serafina and the Seven Stars” is classified as juvenile fiction, but much of the demand is driven by adults who are as thoroughly charmed by the books as their children.
As the Guardian of Biltmore Estate, Serafina has prevailed against the dark forces that threaten the majestic home. A period of peace has succeeded the struggle, but Serafina – ever vigilant – is uneasy. Her friend Braeden Vanderbilt has left the estate to attend a boarding school in New York, but a strange occurrence has her pondering whether Braeden might have returned home for a single night before he vanished. Guests have arrived to participate in the estate’s annual hunt, and Serafina is poised to cope with danger.