Reviews and Publicity

Maximum Shelf: A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY

Today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the legal thriller/family drama of the summer: M.T. Edvardsson’s A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY.

A legal thriller told in three acts, A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY follows eighteen-year-old Stella, who stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost 15 years her senior. Stella is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him?

Chronologically told through three perspectives, readers follow both the story of a crime and the unraveling of a seemingly normal family: the father, a pastor; the daughter, a recent high school graduate; and the mother, a criminal defense attorney. Testing the moral compass of the pastor father and attorney mother, dazzling storyteller M.T. Edvardsson weaves a web in which everyone becomes entangled and nothing is what it seems.

“At its core, A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY asks: How well do you know your loved ones? Or your best friend? Or anyone? Whom can you trust? Edvardsson doesn’t give easy answers, and even throws in commentary about the Swedish legal system when it comes to determining guilt or innocence. But the author raises provocative questions, wraps them up in a propulsive thriller and delivers an ultra-satisfying read that’s far from ordinary.”–Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review, and interview with M.T. Edvardsson on Shelf-Awareness.com. AND enter to win an ARC!

The librarian love is already pouring in!

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss for yourself and submit your LibraryReads votes by May 1!

Nonfiction Round-Up (3/13/19)

A D-Day story from those who were there, an evocative essay collection, defense of the First Amendment, and a guidebook to a better life… Welcome to this week’s Nonfiction Round-Up!

SOLDIER, SAILOR, FROGMAN, SPY, AIRMAN, GANGSTER, KILL OR DIE: How the Allies Won on D-Day by Giles Milton
“Cornelius Ryan and Stephen Ambrose have set the standard for D-Day historiography. It’s safe to say that Milton (NATHANIEL’S NUTMEG) can be now added to that list with this refreshing portrayal of how the Allies prepared, fought, lost, and won on that fateful day in 1944…. Highly recommended for World War II aficionados and those seeking a great read in military history.”–Library Journal, starred review

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Two Starred Reviews for LANNY and CAPE MAY

A Henry James read-alike and a spicy debut both received two starred reviews!

LANNY by Max Porter

Movie adaptation starring Rachel Weisz coming soon!

“In his bold second novel, Porter (GRIEF IS THE THING WITH FEATHERS) combines pastoral, satire, and fable in the entrancing tale of a boy who vanishes from an idyllic British village in the present day…. This is a dark and thrilling excavation into a community’s legend-packed soil.“–Publishers Weekly, starred review

Elegantly mysterious: a story worthy of an M.R. James or even a Henry James and a welcome return by an author eminently worth reading.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

CAPE MAY by Chip Cheek

“This young couple’s September honeymoon in Cape May got so boring they almost went home early. If only…. The 1950s setting, the pellucid prose, and the propulsive plot make this very steamy debut novel about morality and desire feel like a classic.“–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Yes, betrayals are at the core of what happens at Cape May, but beyond that, this remarkable debut novel offers a sobering reminder of how the possibilities of life, when first encountered, often carry their own riptide.”–Booklist, starred review

Sneak Peek: April 2019 Indie Next List

The April 2019 Indie Next List includes FIVE Macmillan titles!

WOMEN TALKING by Miriam Toews

Three starred reviews!
“[A] sharp blade of a novel…. Toews’ eviscerating fictionalization of this incendiary reality focuses not on the violence but, rather, on the keen, subversive intelligence of the Mennonite women, their philosophical casts of mind, clashing personalities, and deep concerns about family and faith.”–Booklist, starred review

“[A]n inspiring and unforgettable novel.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An exquisite critique of patriarchal culture…. Stunningly original and altogether arresting.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

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Most Downloaded E-Galleys on Edelweiss!

If your TBR pile is gettin’ low, check out our list of most downloaded Edelweiss e-galleys!

GIDEON THE NINTH by Tamsyn Muir

Tamsyn Muir’s necromantic science fantasy debut is the most fun you’ll ever have with a skeleton. The Emperor needs necromancers. The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman. Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

THE LAST BOOK PARTY by Karen Dukess

“In late 1980s New York, aspiring writer Eve Rosen is trying to keep up her spirits as a lowly assistant when she lucks out with an invitation to an event at the Cape Cod home of New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie. She lucks out further when she becomes Grey’s research assistant and is invited to the couple’s oh-so-chic Book Party, but soon she’s starting to think that the publishing world isn’t so glamorous after all.”–Library Journal, Pre-Pub Alert

THE MURDER LIST by Hank Phillippi Ryan

“Law student Rachel North, married to a star of Boston’s defense bar, is thrilled to be interning with the Boston DA’s office. Then the trouble starts, and she’s got to decide how to do what’s right. A stand-alone from the multi-award-winning novelist/journalist.”–Library Journal, Pre-Pub Alert

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An Interview with Jennifer Berry Hawes

After the tragic shootings at the Mother Emanuel AME church, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jennifer Berry Hawes knew this was a story that needed telling. In GRACE WILL LEAD US HOME: The Charleston Church Massacre and the Hard, Inspiring Journey to Forgiveness, she offers a moving portrait of the events and emotions that emerged in the massacre’s wake. Today, Hawes joins us to share more about her writing experience, to highlight a courageous librarian named Cynthia Hurd, and to talk about life as a Charlestonian since that terrible day in 2015.

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How did you decide you wanted to write a book on the massacre?

I didn’t think about writing a book until five or six months after June 17, 2015. I had been covering the aftermath of the shooting for the newspaper I work for in Charleston and had begun to realize that, while the massacre itself had caused such unimaginable pain for the survivors and the victims’ loved ones, it was only the opening chapter of a much more complex story. I have since come to think of mass shootings as akin to tossing a rock into a pond. The initial impact disrupts the surface in obvious ways. But then ripple upon ripple of disruption spreads from that impact. This is what happens after these events, and happened here, from divisions among families and the church to divisions within families grappling with so much pain. Add in critical issues to our nation–race and gun violence–and this became a much more complicated story than we could tell in our newspaper. My editors agreed. As people who live and breathe Charleston, we wanted to bear witness to this deeper narrative.

Tell us a little about the librarian, Cynthia Hurd, one of the nine people killed in the church.

To me, the lush garden of climbing roses and overflowing window boxes that Cynthia meticulously tended outside of her home beautifully illustrates her essence. She was a helper, a nurturer, a warm spirit who greeted people with a wide, toothy smile. When her sister, Jackie, was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of weeks before the shooting, Jackie called Cynthia first. “I got you,” Cynthia promised, and everyone knew she meant it. When Cynthia agreed to stay at Bible study on June 17, she had plans to go with Jackie, who lived two states away, to meet with doctors and discuss her treatment options the following week.

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Lambda Award Finalists

The Lambda Literary Awards honor the best in LGBTQ books, and this year’s finalists include NINE Macmillan titles!

Gay Fiction

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE by Édouard Louis
SOME HELL by Patrick Nathan

Bisexual Fiction

THE BEST BAD THINGS by Katrina Carrasco

Gay Poetry

WILD IS THE WIND: Poems by Carl Phillips

Lesbian Mystery

A WHISPER OF BONES: A Jane Lawless Mystery by Ellen Hart

Gay Memoir/Biography

THE UNPUNISHED VICE: A Life of Reading by Edmund White

LGBTQ SF/F/Horror

THE BARROW WILL SEND WHAT IT MAY by Margaret Killjoy
THE DESCENT OF MONSTERS by JY Yang
WITCHMARK by C. L. Polk

Thriller Thursday (3/7/19)

A lawyer and a former U.S. Justice Department operative walk into a bar…to celebrate Thriller Thursday!

THE PERFECT ALIBI by Phillip Margolin
“Legal-thriller fans will find it satisfying to see Margolin back at the top of his game…his writing has regained its stylistic flourishes, and his pacing is impeccable.”–Booklist

THE MALTA EXCHANGE by Steve Berry
“Bestseller Berry’s enthralling 14th Cotton Malone novel (after 2018’s THE BISHOP’S PAWN) finds former U.S. Justice Department operative Malone on a freelance assignment to retrieve long-lost correspondence between Benito Mussolini and Winston Churchill…. Fans of Dan Brown will have fun, and some may even prefer Berry’s action-oriented hero to Brown’s cerebral Robert Langdon.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

Nonfiction Round-Up (3/6/19)

A read-alike for HEAVY and FUN HOME, the return of a Pulitzer Prize-winner, and a pivotal moment in Civil Rights history = Today’s Nonfiction picks!

BENDING TOWARDS JUSTICE:The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights by Doug Jones
“This poignant and powerful story tracks changes in Southern life since the 1960s, uncovering hard truths to correct America’s moral compass with an understanding of the need for activism and political discourse to achieve social justice.”–Library Journal

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2019 Audie Award Winners

Congratulations to our 2019 Audie Winners!

Winner Thriller/Suspense: CRIMSON LAKE by Candice Fox

Winner Young Adult: SADIE by Courtney Summers

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