In this month’s roundup of the best-reviewed BookLife titles, we highlight a posthumous memoir about an author’s battle with cancer, a disturbing thriller, a novel set during the Harlem Renaissance, and more.
★ Track 9 by Sue Rovens
Synopsis: Two Americans honeymooning in Germany find themselves trapped in an abandoned railway station, the site of a mysterious train crash with shocking aftereffects.
PW’s Takeaway: Highly disturbing. Readers who don’t need everything spelled out for them will welcome this simple but effective hair-raiser.
Comparable Title: Stephen King’s “The Langoliers”
Sample Line: “The shell-shocked wanderers that were ambulatory had begun ravaging the dead for their limbs, tearing off hunks of flesh and eating them.”
★ Cancer Looks Good on You by Jill Johnson and Barclay Fryery
Synopsis: Filled with charm and optimism, this inspiriting post-humous memoir from interior decorator Fryery gives tips on living with cancer graciously.
PW’s Takeaway: This book is an uplifting celebration of life and gratitude.
Comparable Title: Kate Bowler’s Everything Happens for a Reason
Sample Line: “The gift and the curse of cancer is that you often know when the end is coming. You can say good-bye to friends. You can wrap up loose ends.”
Little Flower by Ted Oswald
Synopsis: The story of a unique bond between an elderly nun and a young prostitute with dreams of a different life.
PW’s Takeaway: A lovely take on faith, understanding, forgiveness, and love.
Comparable Title: Orhan Pamuk’s A Strangeness in My Mind
Harlem Mosaics by Whit Frazier
Synopsis: Frazier’s witty, fresh fictionalization of the Harlem Renaissance is a delight.
PW’s Takeaway: This informative, thoughtful novel is page-turning tour of a singular piece of America’s past.
Comparable Title: Joe Okonkwo’s Jazz Moon
Clear Seeing Place by Brian Rutenberg
Synopsis: Rutenberg reveals his passion and artistic vision in a series of thoughtful vignettes.
PW’s Takeaway: This author’s coming-of-age-story will appeal to young artists looking to make careers of their passions.
Comparable Title: Sally Mann’s Hold Still