Quick Lit April 2018

From the publisher: "Part thriller, part mystery, part love story. What if the drink you just spilled, the train you just missed, or the lottery ticket you just found was not just a random occurrence? What if it's all part of a bigger plan? What if there’s no such thing as a chance encounter? What if there are people we don't know determining our destiny? Enter the Coincidence Makers—Guy, Emily, and Eric—three seemingly ordinary people who work for a secret organization devoted to creating and carrying out coincidences. What the rest of the world sees as random occurrences, are, in fact, carefully orchestrated events designed to spark significant changes in the lives of their targets—scientists on the brink of breakthroughs, struggling artists starved for inspiration, loves to be, or just plain people like you and me."
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From the publisher: "For anyone who has blanched at the uphill prospect of finishing a long piece of writing, this book holds out something more practical than hope: it offers a plan. The Clockwork Muse is designed to help prospective authors develop a workable timetable for completing long and often formidable projects."
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From the publisher: "A masterful novel about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author of The Imperfectionists. Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear's genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father's attention—first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father's biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father's legacy—and make his own mark on the world. With his signature humanity and humor, Tom Rachman examines a life lived in the shadow of greatness, cementing his place among his generation's most exciting literary voices."
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In this memoir, Tara Westover tells of how she overcame her oppressive childhood: her survivalist family lived in the mountains of rural Idaho and practiced extreme fundamentalist Mormonism; her father's manic depression was undiagnosed and untreated. There was no question that Tara would marry and settle near her family to raise a family of her own, but she found a way out. I picked this up because readers with great taste told me it was a great example of the genre.
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This is one of the buzziest books of spring, both for the stories in and surrounding the book. The author's agent plucked this one from the slush pile, sold it for a rumored price of nearly a million dollars, and Scarlett Johansson is already slated to star in the film adaptation. I read this in just two days because I wanted to know what happens next. If you love domestic noir, give this a try. (If you have had your fill of that genre, this book is not going to change your mind.) The story unfolded like a Hitchcock movie in my mind. If you loved this year's Dangerous Crossing, pick this one up (and vice versa).
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