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Daily Deals: Books with love stories that I don’t think are...

The Weight of Water by Anita ShreveThe Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. $ 2.99 AMZN | Google

From the Jacket Copy:

On a small island off the New Hampshire coast in 1873, two women were brutally murdered by an unknown assailant. A third woman survived the attack, hiding in a sea cave until dawn. More than a century later, a photographer, Jean, comes to the island to shoot a photo-essay about the legendary crime. Immersing herself in accounts of the lives of the fishermen’s wives who were its victims, she becomes obsessed with the barrenness of these women’s days: the ardor-killing labor, the long stretches of loneliness, the maddening relentless winds that threatened to scour them off the rocky island. How could a marriage survive those privations? Was this misery connected to the killings? Jean’s marriage is enduring heavy weather of its own. On the boat she has chartered for this project, she and her husband are falling apart. Their nights are full of drink and terrible silences, and Jean feels jealousy and distrust invading her life and her work. The forces that blasted the island a century earlier come alive inside Jean, bringing her to the verge of actions she never dreamed herself capable of – with no idea whether her choices will destroy all she has ever valued or bring her safely home.
A riveting and deeply involving story of irresistible emotions and irrevocable actions, by the author of Eden Close. A century after two women were murdered in a fit of passion on a small island off the coast of New Hampsire, another woman goes to the island to shoot a photo essay about the crime–and finds herself gripped by uncontrollable passions of her own.

PW writes “With the skill of a master shipbuilder, Shreve carefully fits her two stories together, tacking back and forth between the increasingly twisted murder mystery and the escalating tensions unleashed by the threat of a dangerous shipboard romance. Written with assurance and grace, plangent with foreboding and a taut sense of inexorability, The Weight of Water is a powerfully compelling tale of passion, a provocative and disturbing meditation on the nature of love.”

I’m guessing that this isn’t a romance story.

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Sharp Teeth by Toby BarlowSharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. $ 2.99

From the Jacket Copy:

An ancient race of lycanthropes has survived to the present day, and its numbers are growing. Bent on dominance, rival factions are initiating the down-and-out of L.A. into their ranks. Caught in the middle are Anthony, a kindhearted, lovesick dogcatcher, and the object of his affection: a female werewolf who has abandoned her pack.

Every person listed who blurbed this book is a guy from Nick Hornby to Christopher Moore. Also? The WSJ says its Romeo and Juliet, werewolf-style.

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An Accidental Sportswriter by Robert LipsyteAn Accidental Sportswriter by Robert Lipsyte. $ 1.99 AMZN | Google

From the Jacket Copy:

Growing up, Robert Lipsyte was the smart-aleck fat kid, the bully magnet who went to the library instead of the ballpark. As the perpetual outsider, even into adulthood, his alienation from Jock Culture made him a rarity in the press box: the sportswriter who wasn’t a sports fan. This feeling of otherness has colored Lipsyte’s sports writing for fifty years, much of it spent as a columnist for the New York Times. He didn’t follow particular athletes or teams; he wasn’t awed by the access afforded by his press pass or his familiarity with the players in the locker room.

The experience and insight earned over a half-century infuse An Accidental Sportswriter. Going beyond the usual memoir, Lipsyte has written “a memory loop, a circular search for lost or forgotten pieces in the puzzle of a life.” In telling his own story, Lipsyte grapples with American sports and society—from Mickey Mantle to Bill Simmons—arguing that Jock Culture has seeped into our business, politics, and family life, and its definitions have become the standard to measure value. Full of wisdom and an understanding of American sports that contextualizes rather than celebrates athletes, An Accidental Sportswriter is the crowning achievement of a rich career and a book that will speak to us for years to come.

This is more than a memoir but a reflection on the stories that meant a lot to Lipsyte and how they intersected with his own life. The reviews are fairly positive. I wonder if guys are more grudging with their five stars because most of the ratings were four stars. Or maybe I’m just completely brainwashed from all the glowing five star reviews for indie books.

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You Had Me At Good-Bye by Tracy BatemanYou Had Me at Good-bye by Tracey Bateman. $ 1.99.

From the Jacket Copy:

Everything is on the line for aspiring editorial diva Dancy Ames when she’s fired by her publisher. Could this be the time to risk it all on her writing career—and maybe even love?

Dancy Ames has an enemy: Jack Quinn. The man who swoops in, steals her dream job at Lane Publishing, and fires her, saying she just doesn’t have what it takes to be an editor. Now that she’s unemployed, Dancy must find a new career. Coffee barista, English teacher, literary agent. Hmm. Maybe she’ll write a novel—a nasty invective, featuring a relentless job-stealing, coffee-drinking stalker who falls in love with a coffee barista. She’s got time on her hands, so when her friends dare her to send Jack a proposal, under an assumed name, she takes them up on it. If he likes it, she’ll have her ultimate revenge. But what will she do when it turns out that Jack is interested in her book—and maybe more?

Library Journal writes of this 2003 book “This whimsical, breezy piece of inspirational chick lit features witty dialog and a modern heroine who finds that her nemesis will figure into her future in surprising ways. A good afternoon read that will appeal to college-age and twenty-something females, this novel deserves a place in public library collections.”

(Sounds like a New Adult to me!)

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Eastofeden
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 16:00:41

    FYI…Sharp Teeth is written in prose verse. I believe it was Barlows first novel. Very stylistic and a fun read

  2. Ros
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 16:37:03

    I haven’t read that particular book by Shreve, but no, she doesn’t write romance.

  3. Susan/DC
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 16:46:27

    I did not like “Weight of Water” at all. However, there is a sequel of sorts, “The Last Time They Met”, which I found quite powerful and moving — that one I liked a lot. And Ros is spot on when she says Shreve doesn’t write romance. I’ve read a lot of her books and liked some, didn’t like others, but do not go into any of them expecting the HEA that romance provides.

  4. Katherine
    Nov 05, 2013 @ 18:03:22

    The Weight of Water is actually a really great murder mystery, but it’s very depressing and the only “romance” in it is pretty twisted. It’s definitely not a book that’s going to give you warm fuzzies!

  5. Selene
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 08:03:31

    @Katherine: Does it have a HEA/HFN?

  6. Julia Gabriel
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 08:18:04

    I would consider Anita Shreve’s books to be women’s fiction. She writes about relationships, marriages, families. Definitely not HEA romance.

  7. Susan/DC
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 12:00:05

    @Selene: “The Weight of Water” most definitely does not have a HEA/HFN. You should read her “The Pilot’s Wife” for that kind of ending. It’s an interesting book in that it’s also something of a mystery and how we know ourselves and others (and even if we can truly know someone else), but there is a possible romance in it as an added bonus.

  8. April
    Nov 06, 2013 @ 14:57:43

    I love Sharp Teeth –it was my book choice a few years ago for book club–I got a bunch of retired teachers and librarians to read a werwolf gang Romeo and Juliet book. Most of them even liked it. :) One of my most favorite books ever.

  9. Selene
    Nov 07, 2013 @ 02:53:20

    Thanks Julia and Susan!

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