Articles tagged "Maximum Shelf Awareness"

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!

Maximum Shelf: THE GUEST BOOK

Yesterday’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick was the long-awaited and hotly-anticipated THE GUEST BOOK.

THE GUEST BOOK follows three generations of a powerful American family, a family that “used to run the world.” And when the novel begins in 1935, they still do. Kitty and Ogden Milton appear to have everything—perfect children, good looks, a love everyone envies. But after a tragedy befalls them, Ogden tries to bring Kitty back to life by purchasing an island in Maine. That island, and its house, come to define and burnish the Milton family, year after year after year. And it is there that Kitty issues a refusal that will haunt her till the day she dies.

In 1959 a young Jewish man, Len Levy, will get a job in Ogden’s bank and earn the admiration of Ogden and one of his daughters, but the scorn of everyone else. Len’s best friend, Reg Pauling, has always been the only black man in the room—at Harvard, at work, and finally at the Miltons’ island in Maine. An island that, at the dawn of the twenty-first century, this last generation doesn’t have the money to keep. When Kitty’s granddaughter hears that she and her cousins might be forced to sell it, and when her husband brings back disturbing evidence about her grandfather’s past, she realizes she is on the verge of finally understanding the silences that seemed to hover just below the surface of her family all her life.

“With THE GUEST BOOK, Blake gives readers a modern-day classic that shows how our personal and collective histories are inscribed upon our lives every single day. And once we recognize that, it is up to us to do right by that knowledge, as our actions become our legacy.”–Shelf Awareness

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

Maximum Shelf: CAPE MAY

In case you missed it, last week’s edition of Maximum Shelf Awareness featured CAPE MAY by Chip Cheek!

Late September 1957. Henry and Effie, very young newlyweds from Georgia, arrive in Cape May, New Jersey, for their honeymoon only to find the town is deserted. Feeling shy of each other and isolated, they decide to cut the trip short. But before they leave, they meet a glamorous set of people who sweep them up into their drama. Clara, a beautiful socialite who feels her youth slipping away; Max, a wealthy playboy and Clara’s lover; and Alma, Max’s aloof and mysterious half-sister, to whom Henry is irresistibly drawn. The empty beach town becomes their playground, and as they sneak into abandoned summer homes, go sailing, walk naked under the stars, make love, and drink a great deal of gin, Henry and Effie slip from innocence into betrayal, with irrevocable consequences. Erotic and moving, this is a novel about marriage, love and sexuality, and the lifelong repercussions that meeting a group of debauched cosmopolitans has on a new marriage.

“Duplicity and transformation of the self is at the heart of CAPE MAY. Henry’s struggle to be a good man is immediately tested on his honeymoon at a moment of betrayal coinciding with his and Effie’s sexual awakenings. In CAPE MAY, Cheek shows that every couple encounters such a moment of their own–whether physical, emotional or some combination of both–and it holds the power to change a relationship forever.”–Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review, and interview with Chip Cheek at shelf-awareness.com

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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