Articles tagged "Max Shelf"

Maximum Shelf: AMERICAN DIRT (8/21/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Jeanine Cummins’ AMERICAN DIRT–a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

Lydia Quixano Perez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with four books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

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Maximum Shelf: THE FURIES

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Katie Lowe’s debut novel, THE FURIES, a page-turning, harrowing story of a girl trying to fit in, whose obsessive new friends and desperation to belong leads her to places she’d never imagined…dark, dangerous, and possibly even violent.

In 1998, a sixteen-year-old girl is found dead. She’s posed on a swing on her boarding school’s property, dressed all in white, with no known cause of death. Whispers and rumors swirl, with no answers. But there are a few who know what happened; there is one girl who will never forget.

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Maximum Shelf: A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Therese Anne Fowler’s exploration of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love, A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD.

For fans of Celeste Ng and Jodi Picoult comes a stunning page-turner about two very different families living side by side in an idyllic neighborhood–and the summer that changes their lives forever.

In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door–an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.

Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll?

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Maximum Shelf: HERE WE ARE

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is NPR correspondent Aarti Namdev Shahani’s immigration memoir, HERE WE ARE: American Dreams, American Nightmares!

Who really belongs in America? That question has chased every newcomer and many native born since the founding of the republic. In this heart-wrenching, vulnerable and witty memoir, journalist Aarti Shahani digs deep inside herself and her family for an answer—one that she finds in an unlikely place.

The Shahanis came to Queens—from India, by way of Casablanca—in the 1980s. They were undocumented for a few years and then, with the arrival of their green cards, they thought they’d made it. This memoir is the story of how they did, and didn’t.

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Maximum Shelf: THE BURNING CHAMBERS

Today’s Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is Kate Mosse’s historical epic, THE BURNING CHAMBERS!

France, 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive.

As the religious divide deepens, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city.

All the while, the shadowy mistress of Puivert Château–obsessed with uncovering the secrets of a long-hidden document–strengthens her power and waits for the perfect time to strike…

“THE BURNING CHAMBERS is epic in every sense of the word: it is both long, weighing in at more than 600 pages, and dense, filled with dozens of characters, intersecting storylines and multiple locations. A list of family names and locations, a detailed historical map and an author’s note about the historical background of the Wars of Religion provide context for the incredible amount of information to come, but Mosse (LABYRINTH, THE TAXIDERMIST’S DAUGHTER) never falls victim to the trap of too much detail. In her capable hands, the novel moves along at a rapid pace, loyal to the historical detail of actual events without getting lost in the annals of history.”–Shelf Awareness

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

Download the e-galley from Edelweiss here.

Maximum Shelf: RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE

Today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the big-hearted rom-com of the summer, RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston.

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

“Casey McQuiston dazzles with RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE. Passion characterizes every moment of this smart, mischievous, gratifying and sensitive novel. The punch lines are deft, the sex is steamy and the romance is stirring.” —Shelf Awareness

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

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE has received three starred reviews!

Download the e-galley here.

Check out Booklist‘s interview with the author.

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!

Max Shelf: Celadon Books

Today’s dedicated issue of Shelf Awareness gives a warm welcome to Celadon Books, Macmillan’s new imprint headed up by Jamie Raab and Deb Futter that will publish 20-24 books a year in fiction and nonfiction with commercial potential and literary merit, beginning in 2019. Their motto is “Celadon Books… Time Well Spent.”

Both Raab and Futter note that their “childhoods were steeped in use of their public libraries” and that Futter’s mother was a librarian for 50 years. Both grew up taking out a stack of books each week. They say, “We want both booksellers and librarians to know that we believe the best way to get a feel for our list is to read our books, and we’re happy to send you early copies. We also appreciate, and listen carefully to feedback, so would love to hear back from booksellers and librarians.”

Celadon has a gorgeous, amazingly curated website that regularly features librarian interviews (hey Gregg Winsor & Vicki Nesting!), and you can connect with Celadon on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Celadon’s First List:
Winter 2019

THE SILENT PATIENT by Alex Michaelides
Also available in audio
Available February 5, 2019
A woman shoots her husband five times in the face, then never speaks another word. Theo Faber is the criminal psychotherapist who is determined to get her to talk….

THIS CHAIR ROCKS: A Manifesto Against Ageism by Ashton Applewhite
Available March 5, 2019
Author, activist, and TED speaker Applewhite has written a rousing manifesto calling for an end to discrimination and prejudice on the basis of age.

WHY DON’T YOU WRITE MY EULOGY NOW SO I CAN CORRECT IT?: A Mother’s Suggestions by Patricia Marx, illustrated by Roz Chast
Available April 2, 2019
A collection of witty one-line advice New Yorker writer Patricia Marx heard from her mother, accompanied by full-color illustrations by New Yorker staff cartoonist Roz Chast.

WOLFPACK by Abby Wambach
Also available in audio
Available April 16, 2019
Based on her inspiring 2018 Barnard commencement speech that went viral, WOLFPACK is soccer star Abby Wambach’s inspiring message to all women: support each other, knowing that the strength of the wolf is the pack.

CAPE MAY by Chip Cheek
Also available in audio
Available April 30, 2019
A mesmerizing debut novel that explores the social and sexual mores of 1950s America through the eyes of a newly married couple from the genteel south corrupted by sophisticated New England urbanites. readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: THE NIGHT TIGER

Today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee, is the new novel from New York Times bestselling author Yangsze Choo: THE NIGHT TIGER.

In this utterly transporting story set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, an apprentice dressmaker named Ji Lin moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. Across town, 11-year-old houseboy Ren races to fulfill his former master’s dying wish: find the man’s severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever.

As the days tick by, a series of unexplained deaths wreak havoc on the town, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren are pulled together in ways they couldn’t have imagined, as their increasingly dangerous paths lead them from lush plantations, to hospital storage rooms, to a ghostly dreamscape.

THE NIGHT TIGER is many things: a fine example of historical fiction, a work of magical realism, a ghost story, a mystery, a romance, a coming-of-age tale. Each of these is impressive, but most impressive is Choo’s ability to weave them all together in a way that feels authentic, and to use that intricate process to tell a story of colonialism and self-determination, love and death, family and tradition.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Yangsze Choo on Shelf-Awareness.com. And enter to win an ARC! readmoreremove

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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