Articles tagged "Maximum Shelf Awareness"

Maximum Shelf: SAINT X (11/6/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Alexis Schaitkin’s debut, SAINT X–a haunting portrait of grief, obsession, and the bond between two sisters.

Claire is only seven years old when her college-age sister, Alison, disappears on the last night of their family vacation at a resort on the Caribbean island of Saint X. Several days later, Alison’s body is found in a remote spot on a nearby cay, and two local men—employees at the resort—are arrested. But the evidence is slim, the timeline against it, and the men are soon released. The story turns into national tabloid news, a lurid mystery that will go unsolved. For Claire and her parents, there is only the return home to broken lives.

Years later, Claire is living and working in New York City when a brief but fateful encounter brings her together with Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering her sister. It is a moment that sets Claire on an obsessive pursuit of the truth—not only to find out what happened the night of Alison’s death but also to answer the elusive question: Who exactly was her sister? At seven, Claire had been barely old enough to know her: a beautiful, changeable, provocative girl of eighteen at a turbulent moment of identity formation.

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Maximum Shelf: THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS (10/17/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Jennifer Rosner’s breathtaking WWII mother/daughter story, THE YELLOW BIRD SINGS.

As Nazi soldiers round up the Jews in their town, Róza and her 5-year-old daughter, Shira, flee, seeking shelter in a neighbor’s barn. Hidden in the hayloft day and night, Shira struggles to stay still and quiet, as music pulses through her and the farmyard outside beckons. To soothe her daughter and pass the time, Róza tells her a story about a girl in an enchanted garden:

The girl is forbidden from making a sound, so the yellow bird sings. He sings whatever the girl composes in her head: high-pitched trills of piccolo; low-throated growls of contrabassoon. Music helps the flowers bloom.

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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: 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!

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