Articles tagged "Maximum Shelf"

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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Maximum Shelf: THAT NIGHT

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They said she was a murderer.
They said she killed her sister.
But they lied. 

That's the set up for Chevy Stevens' fourth terrific novel, THAT NIGHT, which is this week's Maximum Shelf Awareness feature. 

that night jacketToni Murphy was eighteen when she and her boyfriend, Ryan, were wrongly convicted of the murder of her younger sister.  Now she is thirty-four and back in her hometown, working every day to forge and adjust to a new life on the outside. She's doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back to prison. But nothing is making that easy—not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who clearly doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life miserable in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out the truth and clear her name.   

“Foreshadowing and terrifying suspense are riveting in Stevens's sure hands; readers will want to keep all the lights on as THAT NIGHT moves into its final acceleration.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Chevy Stevens on Shelf-Awareness.com.

NetGalley logoAvailable on NetGalley. To be pre-approved for an e-galley, please email library@macmillanusa.com with the subject "That Night."

Praise for THAT NIGHT:

Stevens has crafted yet another suspenseful thriller with this tale of heartbreak, the cruelties of fate, and redemption… Stevens not only gives us a fresh perspective on the power adolescents hold over one another, but she also explores the way secrets can destroy lives. Fans of layered mysteries will love this novel as they try to guess the players in Nicole's death and try to figure out exactly what happened 'that night.' A compelling, exceptional read.”
Library Journal, starred review

“Stevens does an excellent job conveying Toni’s near-constant state of unease—as a victim of teenage bullying, a prison inmate protesting her innocence, a parolee who’s prohibited from coming in contact with the people who could clear her name. And she supplies a corker of an ending.” — Booklist

Riveting…an exciting page-turner with an incisive twist.” — Publishers Weekly

“Stevens’ storytelling skills are strong in her latest. She shows us the evil that women can wreak on each other, even in high school, and she paints a poisonous parent very well…readers will feel the heroine’s youthful love and anguish, and root for and believe in her no matter what self-destructive things she does. Stevens continues to captivate…” — RT Book Reviews

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Maximum Shelf: SHOTGUN LOVESONGS

Max Shelf Shotgun Lovesongs

"I had a desire to write about Wisconsin, about place, friendship, love." — Nickolas Butler

Shotgun Lovesongs jacketWe're enamored with SHOTGUN LOVESONGS, Nickolas Butler's debut novel about the relationship between four friends living in a small Midwest town. Other are too: it was selected by the ABA for the Spring 2014 Indies Introduce program and is this week's Maximum Shelf Awareness feature.

Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the small town of Little Wing, Wisconsin and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One stayed while others left to make good, with varying degrees of success. Seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them—both then and now—fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of love songs and rivalries. Now all four have returned to Little Wing in hopes of finding their place in the world. SHOTGUN LOVESONGS explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires. 

"Butler's story of five 30-somethings seeking to make sense of how their future relates to their beginnings may focus on small town living, but it will resonate with anyone who ever struggled to reconcile dreams with financial security, true love with real life, and unwelcome changes with changes that never seem to come." — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Nickolas Butler on Shelf-Awareness.com.

download review copy buttonGet whitelisted and download your e-galley on Edelweiss. Or listen to a clip of the audiobook.
Then meet Butler at PLA 2014 in Indianapolis!


Praise for SHOTGUN LOVESONGS:

"A debut novel that delves so deeply into the small-town heartland... [SHOTGUN LOVESONGS] will strike a responsive chord in any reader who has found his life reflected in a Bob Seger song." — Kirkus Reviews, starred review  

“The hearty Midwest, which thrums and beats through tiny Little Wing, Wisconsin—an Anytown, USA, if there ever was one—assumes the whole soul of Butler’s fetching debut… Readers can feel the winter cold on the other side of the neon sign and hear the peanut shells crunching underfoot.” — Booklist 

"Butler uses multiple narrators to tell the story of a group of friends, born and raised in Little Wing, Wis....  Their voices and their memories create a rich, overlapping narrative that is, at bottom, a love letter to the Midwest and its small, mostly forgotten towns." — Publishers Weekly 

"...this is a warm and absorbing depiction of male friendship. Lee and Hank's compassion toward Ronny is particularly touching, and Beth, the sole female narrator, is as nuanced and believable a character as her male counterparts. With the author's connection to indie musician Bon Iver and a movie deal already in the works, expect interest and demand."  — Library Journal

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Maximum Shelf: RADIANCE OF TOMORROW

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"How do you try to shape a future if you have a past that's still pulling at you?"

Radiance of Tomorrow jacketThis is the question at the heart of RADIANCE OF TOMORROW, a powerful novel about a village trying to reclaim peace after war from Ishmael Beah, author of A LONG WAY GONE: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

We're very excited about this book, which was recently named a January Indie Next pick, and is this week's Maximum Shelf Awareness feature. 

"What begins as a story of survivors returning to what used to be home and attempting to reconstruct the rhythms of normal life takes several surprising turns as Beah carefully unfolds his elegant and layered narrative." — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Ishmael Beah on Shelf-Awareness.com

Edelweiss buttonGet whitelisted and download your e-galley on Edelweiss. Then meet Beah at ALA Midwinter 2014 in Philadelphia!

Praise for RADIANCE OF TOMORROW:

"Beah, who broke our hearts with the haunting memoir of his life as a boy soldier, will render readers speechless with the radiance of his storytelling in this novel of grace, forgiveness, and a vision of a tomorrow without conflict." Library Journal, starred review

“UNICEF Ambassador Beah writes lyrically and passionately about ugly realities as well as about the beauty and dignity of traditional ways.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In RADIANCE OF TOMORROW, Beah has produced a formidable and memorable novel—a story of resilience and survival, and, ultimately, rebirth.” Publishers Weekly, review by Edwidge Danticat

“The power of the story is in the close-up, heartbreaking detail of the struggle for survival, the cruelty, and also the kindness.” Booklist

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Maximum Shelf: WHERE THE MOON ISN’T

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"'I'll tell you what happened because it will be a good way to introduce my brother,' Matthew says, 'His name's Simon. I think you'll like him. I really do. But in a couple of pages he'll be dead. And he was never the same after that.'"

Where the Moon Isn'tToday's Maximum Shelf features one of our favorite debut novels of the season: WHERE THE MOON ISN'T by Nathan Filer. Recently named a November Indie Next selection, this story about two brothers—one who goes missing and the other who doesn't quite come back—is inspired by the author's experience as a psychiatric nurse.

"Equal parts family drama, mystery, coming-of-age and meditation on mental illness, Nathan Filer's unusual and haunting novel, WHERE THE MOON ISN'T, defies easy categorization. Whereas many genre-bending novels tend to overreach, this one succeeds on every level, most notably with its affecting protagonist. Though unnerving, this unique window into a mental illness that is so often misunderstood and misrepresented is both interesting and enlightening." — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Nathan Filer on Shelf-Awareness.com.

NetGalley logoStart reading now! Email library@macmillanusa.com (subject line: WHERE THE MOON ISN'T) to get pre-approved to download a review copy from NetGalley.


Praise for
WHERE THE MOON ISN'T:

"VERDICT: In this very assured debut, performance poet and mental-health nurse Filer shows that he knows what he's writing about. It should prove catnip to book group participants (especially those who loved Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and will appeal to anyone looking for a serious (but not ponderous) story that's impossible to put down." Library Journal, starred review

"A haunting story about how to mourn when the source of your grief will never go away” — Kirkus Reviews

“...deeply affecting and insightful in its account of mental illness." — Booklist


WHERE THE MOON ISN'T
will be available from St. Martin's Press on November 5. 

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Maximum Shelf: Close My Eyes

I assume you're all subscribed to Shelf Awareness, the insightful daily newsletter that collects all sorts of good info on day-to-day publishing happenings, but just in case you're not, allow me to swivel your neck in their direction like the literary chiropractor I am. Boom: Shelf-Awareness.com

Shelf Awareness also has a newsletter dedicated entirely to one title that they deem "a great handselling opportunity" called Maximum Shelf (full disclosure: we sponsor the issues with our books). Today's Maximum Shelf featured a book that we're all very excited about: CLOSE MY EYES by Sophie McKenzie.

EarlyWord Galley Chatters may remember that this is the title that Robin Beerbower of Salem Public raved about across the entire cover of the galley!!

close my eyes arc

The Maximum Shelf delivers the full scoop about McKenzie's incredible U.S. debut.

"[CLOSE MY EYES is] a fast-moving tale of psychological suspense full of twists and genuine surprises. While comparisons have been made to Gillian Flynn's GONE GIRL, McKenzie's page-turner is more reminiscent of the creepy Gaslight, the 1944 film that so powerfully depicted a terrorized woman it led to the term 'gaslighting,' a form of mental abuse wherein the victim is made to believe she is going insane..."

They've also included a great interview with author Sophie McKenzie about how she went about writing her first novel for adults.

Head on over to Shelf-Awareness.com now to learn more about CLOSE MY EYES!

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Monday Fun Day! (8/27/2012 Edition)

Come one, come all, to a brand new week!

- Did you see today's Maximum Shelf? If not, take a look. It's entirely dedicated to Per Petterson's 1992 novel, IT'S FINE BY ME.

"[R]eaders who love deep examinations of character will find themselves caught in Audun's voice like a ray of light in a prism, their emotions filtering through in a spectrum of compassion, commiseration and admiration. [...]

"Petterson's prose is brisk and unornamented, perfect for evoking the austere beauty of the Norwegian landscape and yet packed with emotions both powerful and subtle."

The issue also includes an interview with Fiona McCrae, publisher and director of Graywolf Press, on working with translations. 

teens' top ten - Don't forget to direct your teen patrons to YALSA's Teens' Top Ten poll: http://www.SurveyMonkey.com/s/TeensTopTen12.

- Our overstuffed A MEMORY OF LIGHT backpack giveaway is still open for those of you interested in taking a peek at Uncharted Pages, our new SF/F recommendation blog hosted by EarlyWord! Contest details here

- And finally... 

MONDAY! MONDAY! MONDAY! The EPIC SHOWDOWN you've all been waiting for: Parrot vs. Kitten! Winner gets the back of the couch.

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