Today’s Must-Read – The Lieutenant by Kate Grenville

lieutenantThe Lieutenant

by Kate Grenville

As a boy, Daniel Rooke was always an outsider. At school, he learned to hide his clever thoughts from his cruel peers; at home, his parents were bemused by their bookish son. Daniel could only hope – against all the evidence – that he would one day find his place in life. By 1788, Daniel has become Lieutenant Rooke, astronomer with the First Fleet as it lands on the unknown shores of New South Wales. As the newcomers struggle to establish a settlement for themselves and their cargo of convicts, and attempts are made to communicate with those who already inhabit this land, Rooke sets up his observatory to chart the stars. But the place where they have landed will prove far more revelatory than the night sky. Out on his isolated point, Rooke comes to know the local Aboriginal people, and forges a remarkable connection with one child, which will change his life in ways he never imagined.

Please support the Pivotal Network by using this link  if you buy the book from Amazon

Today’s Must-Read – The Reinvention of Ivy Brown

 reinvention1The Reinvention of Ivy Brown: A Novel

by Roberta Taylor

“‘Her affectionate memoir, suffused with forgiveness for the worst of her relatives’ foibles and admiration for their gritty determination to survive, presents true lives and situations which are every bit as dramatic as any television soap.’ Val Hennessy, Daily Mail

‘As mordantly funny as it is affecting.’ Paul Bailey Independent”

Quite simply, Atlantic’s biggest book of the year: Roberta Taylor’s gripping first novel is a tale of love and betrayal in the freezing winter of London in 1963.It is the 15th of February 1963, and Ivy Brown, typist at the Wiseman Pulverising Factory, is about to turn thirty. As Ivy sits, staring at the back of the typist in front of her, she tries desperately to avoid thinking about her impending birthday, her freckled hands and her diminishing horizons. Two things lift Ivy Brown from her gloom: her brand new Beaver Lamb coat and the thought of Arthur.Arthur is the man on whom Ivy has pinned all her hopes. ‘We are our own secret’ Arthur says, and Ivy loves to repeat it, even as she recollects the parts of her life she has kept from him. But when Ivy spots Arthur at the bus stop, his arm around a young girl, she realises that she is not the only person keeping secrets. Her determination to uncover the truth spells disaster for all those in her way.  The reinvention of Ivy Brown comes at a heavy price.

Buy from Amazon

More Ludlum for the big screen

Universal is negotiating for screen rights to “The Parsifal Mosaic,” a Robert Ludlum espionage thriller that shapes up as the first major project for Captivate Entertainment, the company that controls screen rights to Ludlum novels.

Captivate made an overall deal with the studio last year.

Deighton turns 80


British historian and spy novelist Len Deighton — the author of such familiar works as The IPCRESS File (1962), Funeral in Berlin (1964), and XPD (1981) — turns 80 years old today.

Philip K. Dick’s final novel

Novel by Philip K. Dick Gets an Ending

Philip K. Dick’s last wife has reworked the novel he was working on when he died in 1982 and is publishing the book herself, The Guardian reported.

Today’s Must-read – The Six Sacred Stones

six_sacredThe Six Sacred Stones: a novel

By Matthew Reilly

The wildly imaginative Reilly has taken inspiration from comics, video games, movies, thrillers and Code-style puzzle novels to create this rocket-fuelled sequel to his 7 Deadly Wonders. After completing a 10-year mission to acquire the Golden Capstone of the Great Pyramid from what’s left of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Jack West Jr. has retired to the Australian outback to raise his adopted daughter, Lily. Jack’s pal, Professor Max T. Epper, known as Wizard, has discovered that the Dark Sun, a mysterious heavenly body, is due to emerge in nine days, triggering the Apocalypse. Ultimate disaster can only be averted if someone can locate the six legendary Pillars, cleanse them with the Philosopher’s Stone and insert them in the 6 Vertices, thereby causing the Great Machine to power on and negate the fatal blast from the Dark Sun. If anyone can perform these Herculean labors, it’s Reilly’s resourceful hero. A pervasive tongue-in-cheek quality (one that extends to the low tech–looking maps and illustrations) will help readers find this outlandish adventure thrilling.

If you buy this from Amazon, please support the Pivotal Network by using this link.

Are you a member of the Pivotal Book club?

Today’s Must-Read – Obenewtyn by Isobelle Carmody

obernewtynObernewtyn (Obernewtyn Chronicles)

by Isobelle Carmody

Award-winning Australian author Isobelle Carmody’s, Obernewtyn (Book One of the Obernewtyn Chronicles) is finally available in the U.S. Appropriate for adult and young-adult readers, Obernewtyn is a fine post-apocalyptic novel in the tradition of Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover series, Leigh Brackett’s classic The Long Tomorrow, and the post-disaster novels of John Wyndham (especially Re-Birth) and John Christopher. On an Earth nearly wiped out by radiation and chemicals that have whitened the sky and poisoned the land, surviving humans have built a semi-agrarian culture. Though their own religious leaders, the Herders, have paranormal powers, they persecute the mutated Misfits, whose psychic abilities they view as a form of subversion. Thus, Elspeth Gordie, an orphan, conceals her exceptional abilities (prophetic visions, the ability to communicate with animals) from the other workers around her. Nonetheless, she is discovered and taken to the legendary Obernewtyn, an isolated town reputedly full of horrors. But instead of the tortures she expects, Elspeth finds friends and learns of the harmful experiments performed elsewhere upon talented Misfits and of the destructive powers that may have survived the Age of Chaos that ruined Earth. Though most of Carmody’s characters are clearly bad or good, she avoids blatant stereotyping by imbuing many with conflicting interests. She also presents the Herders’ primitive culture in considerable and vivid detail, from Elspeth’s arduous ride through the Western Mountains to a farmer’s daily life of toil and gossip. Despite their abilities, the Misfits are at the mercy of their superstitious culture and those who run Obernewtyn – a plight that generates convincing plot turns. This is the first novel by Carmody, an Australian children’s writer, to appear in the States. Readers will look forward to more.

If you want to buy this book from Amazon, please support my Pivotal Network by using this link

A ‘Da Vinci Code’ follow-up:

 Is the wait over?

Danbrown That’s what Entertainment Tonight is reporting after one of its reporters talked to Ron Howard on the film set of “Angels and Demons,” the first of Dan Brown’s novels to feature Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon. Howard told ET reporter Mark Steines that Brown has finished his third book in which Langdon again takes the lead as a code-breaking, conspiracy-hunting hero.

“Dan is very excited about it,” Howard told Steines.

There is no word yet from Brown’s official website or from his publisher, Doubleday, though Brown has given some information about his “Da Vinci Code” follow-up on his website, assuring readers there that “the next Robert Langdon novel … is set deep within the oldest fraternity in history … the enigmatic brotherhood of the Masons.” The Wall Street Journal’s Jeffrey Trachtenberg reported in January of last year that the new novel even carried the tentative title, “The Solomon Key.”

Today’s Must-Read

good_woman A Good Woman

by Danielle Steel

Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Worthington, the only daughter of a wealthy New York banker, weathers a life of unexpected catastrophe with superhuman patience in Steel’s solid latest. After her father and brother die in the sinking of the Titanic, Annabelle and her mother go into mourning, and Annabelle marries the kindly older banker Josiah Millbank. After two years of unconsummated marriage, he reveals that he’s contracted syphilis and wants a divorce so he can join his male lover. When Annabelle refuses to divorce him, Josiah files for it on the basis of adultery, forcing Annabelle, now the victim of vicious rumors, to flee New York. Alone in Paris, she draws on her experience volunteering at Ellis Island to pursue a career as a doctor as WWI looms. Steel toys with the premise of a modern woman, though the characterization of Annabelle as a good woman who has been dragged through the mud somewhat mitigates her strength and elemental stubbornness. Steel’s fans will eat this up—Annabelle is one of the better protagonists Steel’s conjured recently.

Buy this book from Amazon

Today’s Must-Read – The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett by Colleen McCullough

 The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett

by Colleen McCullough

independenceEveryone knows the story of Elizabeth and Jane Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. But what about their sister Mary? At the conclusion of Jane Austen’s classic novel, Mary, bookish, awkward, and by all accounts, unmarriageable, is sentenced to a dull, provincial existence in the backwaters of Britain. Now, master storyteller Colleen McCullough rescues Mary from her dreary fate with The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet, a page-turning sequel set twenty years after Austen’s novel closes. The story begins as the neglected Bennet sister is released from the stultifying duty of caring for her insufferable mother. Though many would call a woman of Mary’s age a spinster, she has blossomed into a beauty to rival that of her famed sisters. Her violet eyes and perfect figure bewitch the eligible men in the neighbourhood, but though her family urges her to marry, romance and frippery hold no attraction. Instead, she is determined to set off on an adventure of her own. Fired with zeal by the newspaper letters of the mysterious Argus, she resolves to publish a book about the plight of England’s poor. Plunging from one predicament into another, Mary finds herself stumbling closer to long-buried secrets, unanticipated dangers, and unlooked-for romance.

PDF Download: Read an excerpt from The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet

Buy the book from Amazon