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I have shared in this column before how much I enjoy spending warm spring and summer days at the beach, immersed in a good book. It might be a librarian peculiarity, but part of the enjoyment comes from the planning of what to read, as well as the actual reading experience. Here are some upcoming releases that will be added to my 2012 spring reading list:
A departure from his usual legal thrillers, "Calico Joe" by John Grisham (out April 10) is a story billed by the publisher as a poignant novel about "fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption, all set in the world of Major League Baseball." Although baseball serves as the framework of the story, one does not need to be an avid fan to appreciate the themes of love, loss and triumphs of this novel.
Known for his superb depictions of place and the enchanting lyrical quality to his writing, Ron Rash brings to life the Appalachian Mountains during World War I in "The Cove" (out April 10). Described as a "tragic love story with pointed social commentary" by Booklist, Rash's newest is sure to please his longtime admirers and new readers alike.
Fans of David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler and Tina Fey will not want to miss "Let's Pretend This Never Happened" by Jenny Lawson (out April 17). The author and creator of www.thebloggess.com , recounts many hilarious and mortifying stories from her unusual life. Lawson shares her childhood in rural Texas, where her eccentric taxidermy-loving father used to surprise her and her sister by bringing live and dead animals into the family's home; her high school years as an outcast; and her enduring relationship with her unflappable husband.
Picking up right where 2011's "Only Time Will Tell" ended, "The Sins of the Father," by Jeffrey Archer (out May 8), begins with the start of World War II and Harry Clifton joining the Merchant Navy. Shortly after his enlistment, his ship sinks in the Atlantic and Harry and several other sailors are rescued by a passing American cruise ship. When one of the other sailors, Tom Bradshaw, dies that night, Harry assumes his identity, thinking he can escape the troubles of his past by becoming someone new. However, Bradshaw's life comes with its own problems and unable to prove his true identity, Harry might be stuck in a worse situation than the one he was trying to escape.
Jeff Shaara returns to the Civil War after forays into World Wars I and II with The Battle of Shiloh in "A Blaze of Glory" (out May 29). Based on meticulous research, Shaara takes you right onto the battlefield by depicting one of the bloodiest and most important battles of the Civil War through the viewpoints of the generals, officers, enlisted and conscripted men on both sides of the war as they fight on the Western Front.
In addition to the above titles, many new books are coming out by perennial favorite authors this spring, including:
April 17: "The Innocent," by David Baldacci
April 24: "The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel," by Stephen King
May 1: "The Serpent's Shadow" (The Kane Chronicles, Book Three), by Rick Riordan, and "The Last Boyfriend: Book Two of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy," by Nora Roberts
May 8: "In One Person," by John Irving
May 15: "Stolen Prey," by John Sanford