Articles tagged "Max Shelf Awareness"

Maximum Shelf: AT THE WOLF’S TABLE

In September 2014, while reading an Italian newspaper, Rosella Postorino found a brief article about Margot Wölk, Hitler’s last living food taster. She was 96 years old and it was the first time she had confessed her experience; Margot had kept it a secret her whole life. Postorino contacted her to request a meeting, but unfortunately Margot died before receiving her letter.

She described the tasters’ meals as very distressing moments, as a real nightmare, but she also remembered how delicious and fresh the food was. I felt that this contradiction represented the contradiction of her role: she was a victim being forced to risk life and limb three times a day just by eating, but she was also guilty, because she was working for Hitler, an inhuman, evil person,” Postorino said.

“Her story had already become my obsession and I thought that the only way to understand why it obsessed me was to write a novel loosely based on Frau Wölk’s experience. My question was: What would I have done if I had been in her shoes?

That novel is AT THE WOLF’S TABLE, translated from Italian by Leah Janeczko, and it’s today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick.

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Maximum Shelf: AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH

“If my pursuits appear unhealthy to the modern eye, that is simply because they are no longer fashionable. Mine is the unhealthiness of the modern-day ascetic, the anchorite, the mortifier of the flesh. These moments I seek are my mementi mori, ritual injunctions reminding me that my own death is a little closer every day.” — Mikita Brottman

Mikita Brottman’s AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH: The True Story of a Body at the Belvedere delves into her obsessive decade-long investigation into a mysterious death at the Belvedere—a once-grand hotel turned apartment complex where Brottman lives. As she examines her own morbid curiosity, she offers a poignant, gripping meditation on suicide and voyeurism.

Maximum Shelf Awareness delves deeper into AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH: “Fans of true crime—and those who enjoy the fictional variety—will find plenty to rivet them in AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH. But the story also offers a lot to those who relish the psychological mysteries of mankind. The richest gem of AN UNEXPLAINED DEATH, however, is Brottman herself.” readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf Awareness: THE SOUND OF GRAVEL

MaxShelf-SoundOfGravelEarlier this week, Maximum Shelf Awareness featured one of our favorite memoirs of the winter season: THE SOUND OF GRAVEL by Ruth Wariner.

This remarkable true story of one girl’s coming-of-age in a polygamist Mormon Doomsday cult is reminiscent of Jeannette Walls’ THE GLASS CASTLE and ESCAPE by Carolyn Jessup.

“THE SOUND OF GRAVEL is straightforwardly told, in chronological order and with little lyrical adornment. Its power lies in the facts of the story, which is deeply affecting both in its horrors and in its redemptive conclusion. At the end, when Ruth saves herself and her sisters by escaping Colonia LeBaron, she has earned the reader’s sympathy and respect, and an identity beyond that of survivor.” — Shelf Awareness

“This well-written book is hard to put down and hard to forget.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

Click here to read the full Shelf Awareness summary, review and fascinating interview with Ruth Wariner.

Librarians across the country can’t put it down!

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