Articles tagged "Maximum Shelf"

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: THE WHISPER MAN

Last week’s Maximum Shelf pick was Alex North’s THE WHISPER MAN, the next creepy thriller from Celadon you won’t want to miss!

Tom Kennedy and his young son Jake are having a tough time after the sudden death of their wife and mother. A fresh start will help heal. A new beginning, a new house, a new town. Featherbank.

But the town has a dark past. Fifteen years ago a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man,” for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their window at night.

Of course, an old crime need not trouble Tom and Jake as they settle into their new home. Except that now a young boy has gone missing with a similar M.O. as The Whisper Man all those years ago, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late, even if that means Pete has to revisit his great foe in prison. The Whisper Man.

And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window…

“In the end, THE WHISPER MAN has all the hallmarks of a great murder-mystery thriller: suspense, the battle between good and evil, surprise twists and turns, fresh takes on classic detective characters and sympathetic civilians. But more than that, North offers nuance and questions about human agency. For all the darkness in this novel about serial killers and trauma, there is a sweet strain of filial love and creativity, and even a note of redemption.”–Shelf Awareness

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

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!

Maximum Shelf: THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS

This week’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the bewitching and eagerly-awaited THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS by Katherine Howe!

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her fiancé from a curse.

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America–especially women’s home recipes and medicines–and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows. When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds-years-long deadly curse. Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades–and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

“Howe’s seamless blending of fantasy, history, suspense and romance–coupled with vivid characters, dynamic tone and a thrilling pace–result in a riveting novel. She has clearly unearthed the magic recipe for crafting superb fiction, and readers will reap the rewards.”–Shelf Awareness

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

Maximum Shelf: SKY IN THE DEEP

In case you missed it, last week’s edition of Maximum Shelf Awareness featured SKY IN THE DEEP by Adrienne Young!

“Vegr yfir fior. Honor above life. The first whistle cut into the air from our right, warning us to get ready and I closed my eyes, feeling the steadiness of the earth beneath my feet. The sounds of battle rushing toward us bled together as the deep-throated prayers of my clansmen rose up around me like smoke from a wildfire. I let the words march out under my breath, asking Sigr to guard me. To help me bring down his enemies.”

As a member of the Aska clan, seventeen-year-old Eelyn has spent her entire life learning how to be a warrior—preparing for the traditional battle against the enemy clan. For many centuries, the gods of the Riki and the Aska have been at war, so the people battle it out every five years on behalf of their gods. This time is different for Eelyn, though. She has been waiting for five long years to avenge the death of her brother, who fell off of a cliff in front of Eelyn during the last battle against the Riki. So when Eelyn sees her dead brother, Iri, fighting with the Riki in battle, she is forced to question everything she thought she knew. In a moment of uncertainty, Eelyn is captured by the Riki and must spend the winter in their village, living among the enemy in the place her brother now calls home. Eelyn desperately longs to get back to her clan and her family, but there is no way for her to do so. When a third clan—one even more brutal than the others—attacks the Riki village, Eelyn must convince the Riki and the Aska to put their differences behind them and work together to defeat the new enemy.

“Young’s SKY IN THE DEEP is full of bloody action and eternal feuds, but it is Eelyn’s halting, painful transformation and the tender depictions of loving human bonds in all their iterations that make this novel truly ond eldr: “breathe fire.” —Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review, and interview with Adrienne Young at shelf-awareness.com. readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN

MaxShelf-AllIsNotForgottenWe’ve already told you about ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, the incredible psychological thriller by Wendy Walker that your fellow librarians (and Reese Witherspoon) can’t stop raving about, and now it’s a Maximum Shelf Awareness pick!

ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN has been compared to DEFENDING JACOB and RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, among other psychological thrillers, and the comparisons are apt. The characters that occupy the pages are flawed and imperfect in their humanity, and all the more engaging because of it. They experience hardships and pain and try their best to make their way through both. Witnessing the ways they tell their stories to each other in the midst of all of this—and the way that Wendy Walker tells their stories to us as readers—cements Walker not only as an expert storyteller, but ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN as an excellent novel of psychological suspense. ” — Shelf Awareness

Click here to read the full Shelf Awareness summary, review and full interview with Wendy Walker. readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES

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“I didn’t set out to write a book with a message or a moral. This really was just a story I had to tell. But along the way, I stumbled across the idea of people finding each other in their shared frailty. We’re at our most human when we can recognize our dread, and our weakness, in others.” — Michael Pitre

Perfect for readers who loved Karl Marlantes’s MATTERHORN and Kevin Powers’s THE YELLOW BIRDS, Iraq war veteran Michael Pitre’s debut novel, FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES, follows three men from a road repair platoon tasked with the dangerous job of filling potholes along the highways and byways of Iraq.

Buzzing since spring, FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES was picked for the “Summer/Fall Indies Introduce Promotion” at BEA, was named a Library Journal Best Summer Debut, as well as a B&N Discover Great New Writers pick, and was yesterday’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness title.

Fives and twenty-fives mark the measure of a marine’s life in the road repair platoon. When a convoy halts to investigate a possible roadside bomb, stay in the vehicle and scan five meters in every direction. A bomb inside five meters cuts through the armor, killing everyone in the truck. Once clear, get out and sweep twenty-five meters. A bomb inside twenty-five meters kills the dismounted scouts investigating the road ahead.

Lieutenant Donavan leads the platoon, painfully aware of his shortcomings and isolated by his rank. Doc Pleasant, the medic, joined for opportunity, but finds his pride undone as he watches friends die. And there’s Kateb, known to the Americans as Dodge, an Iraqi interpreter whose love of American culture—from hip-hop to the dog-eared copy of Huck Finn he carries—is matched only by his disdain for what Americans are doing to his country.

Told in alternating first-person voices, the story switches between the present, when each man has either returned home or tried to create a new one, and their far more vivid past, in the Iraqi war zone, following these men as they struggle to find a place in a world that no longer knows them.

“Readers will be floored by Pitre’s spare literary style, the authenticity of each of his characters’ three different voices, and those mesmerizing characters themselves, who are not perfect but demand our compassion for their very reality. The story of FIVES AND TWENTY FIVES is sometimes difficult to abide, but is also necessary; we are lucky to have such a fine voice as Pitre’s to tell it.”
Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Michael Pitre on Shelf-Awareness.com.

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Maximum Shelf: THE FORTUNE HUNTER

 

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A beautiful empress, a handsome horseman, and a bluestocking heiress form a passionate love triangle in New York Times bestselling author Daisy Goodwin’s new historical novel, THE FORTUNE HUNTER, which was last week’s Maximum Shelf Awareness feature.

Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as “Sisi,” is the Princess Diana of nineteenth-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National—until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that threatens the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and all of their futures.

“In THE FORTUNE HUNTER, Goodwin vividly evokes the atmosphere of the era while illuminating the universal sentiments of love, desire, purpose and ambition. Swiftly plotted, peopled with interesting, sympathetic characters and laced with humor and clever dialogue, this lively novel is historical fiction at its entertaining best.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Daisy Goodwin on Shelf-Awareness.com.

download review copy edelweiss  Available for download on Edelweiss. (Don’t see the green button? Get whitelisted.)

Praise for THE FORTUNE HUNTER:

“Goodwin uses finely drawn characters and intriguing plot lines to create numerous memorable scenes such as when the empress, accompanied by Bay, visits and exchanges polite but pointed barbs with Queen Victoria. Although readers who enjoyed THE AMERICAN HEIRESS will be first in line to savor Goodwin’s new novel, they will be followed quickly by others who appreciate engaging and thoughtful historical fiction.” Library Journal, starred review

“Goodwin’s second novel is a luxurious indulgence for romantically inclined readers. Mingling historical fact with imaginative fiction, Goodwin writes with effortless grace, and her dialogue’s subtle wit is delightful. Each of her three protagonists commands attention and sympathy, which heightens the story’s poignancy.”
— Booklist

“An enchanting, beautifully written page-turner.” — Publishers Weekly

“With its witty dialogue, intriguing research and cameo appearances by Queen Victoria and other royals, Goodwin’s latest is a pleasurable excursion into Downton-land complete with high-society weddings, lavish balls and an exciting, all-or-nothing horse-racing finale.” — Kirkus Reviews

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