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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of September 14, 2009

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Should you be so inclined — and perhaps you should — toward new books besides Dan Brown's blockbuster The Lost Symbol, I have the information somewhere around here…

The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown

Five years in the making and "D-Day" (Dan Brown Day) is finally here to, as it is speculated, give a big boost to the book business — not only for a new book's own bestseller-dom but also for a little residual fallout for other titles waiting to see if they stack up against the stacks of (ta-da!) The Lost Symbol. With such promises in the offing, and a first printing of five million copies, there's  some sage advice to be had from the industry’s one-man stimulus packager: "I'm also a big fan of gravity boots. Hanging upside down seems to help me solve plot challenges by shifting my entire perspective."

Now that’s a valuable writing tip for the plethora of derivative Dan Brown wannabes out there ready to take pen to paper and slavishly follow – via The Da Vinci Code knock-off way — in the gravity boots of the author of the bestselling hardcover adult novel of all time, which sold 81 million copies in print internationally and inspired yet another bad Tom Hanks movie haircut.

Once again featuring Code’s symbologist protagonist Robert Langdon attempting to solve one of history’s greatest mysteries, the narrative – squeezed into a 12-hour time period — is sure to be bursting with page-spinning intrigue and irresistible storytelling as we try to keep up with Langdon (and his doubtlessly too-young trophy love interest). With don’t-blink suspense sequences and twists and turns that have their own twists and turns, there also promises to be a lot of surprises in store on the whiplash-winding trail of clues, conspiracies, and convoluted puzzles. Sleuthing and snooping at such a breakneck pace, “Robert Langdon’s life clearly moves a lot faster than mine,” says Brown. Well, sure – but hanging upside down in gravity boots doesn't help much, either.

MORE FICTION

The Other Lands (Acacia Series #2)
by David Anthony Durham

Night Pleasures (Dark-Hunter Series)
by Sherrilyn Kenyon

The Phoenix Transformed (Enduring Flame Series #3)
by Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory

No Time to Wave Goodbye
by Jacquelyn Mitchard

Cleopatra's Daughter: A Novel
by Michelle Moran

Little Bird of Heaven
by Joyce Carol Oates

Top Producer
by Norb Vonnegut

NONFICTION

If God Is Good: Faith in a World of Suffering and Evil
by Randy Alcorn

Bicycle Diaries
by David Byrne

The Possibility of Everything
by Hope Edelman

Past Due: The End of Easy Money and the Renewal of the American Economy
by Peter S. Goodman

Michael Jackson: 1958-2009, Life of a Legend
by Michael Heatley

Nothing Was the Same: A Memoir
by Kay Redfield Jamison

True Compass: A Memoir
by Edward M. Kennedy

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
by Jon Krakauer

Chocolate, Please: My Adventures in Food, Fat, and Freaks
by Lisa Lampanelli

What Americans Really Want… Really: The Truth About Our Hopes, Dreams, and Fears
by Frank I. Luntz

Making Mischief: A Maurice Sendak Appreciation
by Gregory Maguire

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?
by Michael J. Sandel

Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War
by Nicholas Thompson

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About Gordon Hauptfleisch