Articles tagged "mermaids"

Booklist’s Spotlight on First Novels, 2016

Booklist‘s recent Spotlight on First Novels revealed several favorite Macmillan debuts:
Top 10 First Novels: 2016* (full list)

HIDE by Matthew Griffin
Griffin follows the relationship between two gay men living on the fringes of society, in constant fear of being found out, through the decades, recalling in flashbacks how they met and stayed together, and capturing the quotidian moments of life.

Top 10 First Novels for Youth: 2016* (full list)

AMERICAN GIRLS by Alison Umminger
Anna, 15, escapes upheaval at home by spending the summer with her half-sister, Delia, in L.A., where Anna becomes involved in a project about Charles Manson that helps her comes to terms with her family and herself.

Top 10 First Novels on Audio: 2016* (full list)

THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler, read by Ari Fliakos
Myths, mermaids, tarot cards, and a family curse flow together in this tale of a librarian who receives an unsolicited package that opens up the secrets of his family history. Fliakos captures character and tone in this splendidly performed tale.

THE FORGETTING TIME by Sharon Guskin, read by Susan Bennett and David Pittu
Guskin’s debut intertwines two imaginative stories: a preschooler continually asks for his “other mother,” and a psychiatrist studies reincarnation in young children. Pitch-perfect performances from Bennett and Pittu add drama and emotion to the complex story.

IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo, read by Samia Mounts
Russo draws heavily on her real-life experiences as a transgender woman in this powerful coming-of-age novel. Mounts’ moving performance perfectly depicts teenage Amanda’s struggles to find love, acceptance, and safety.

*Titles included were reviewed between October 15, 2015 and October 1, 2016.

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Roundup

These new & forthcoming science fiction & fantasy titles will transport you to another world:

SPELLS OF BLOOD AND KIN by Claire Humphrey
“Human warmth underlies this exciting and furiously paced fable of fur, fangs, and family. Emphasizing intricate family dynamics alongside shape-changing and magic, Humphrey’s debut merges victim and victimizer, reality and the occult. This paranormal tale stands out even in its very crowded field.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE BIG SHEEP by Robert Kroese
Sherlock meets Blade Runner in this novel that explores society’s fascination with celebrity in a futuristic dystopic LA, with a genetically modified sheep in the center of it all. “Fans of Sherlock Holmes and Douglas Adams’s ‘Dirk Gently’ novels will find things to love in Kroese’s latest.” — Library Journal, starred review

TIME SIEGE by Wesley Chu
“In this engrossing sequel to TIME SALVAGER, Chu continues a futuristic saga that pits fugitive time traveler James Griffin-Mars and his allies, who seek to rescue a ravaged Earth from utter destruction, against Valta, the megacorporation that rules the galaxies. The story’s intricate plotting, breathtaking battles, and hefty doses of cruelty, betrayal, sacrifice, courage, and hope culminate in a cliff-hanger that will leave readers longing for the next installment.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

INFOMOCRACY by Malka Older
Little Brother meets The West Wing in this “sparkling debut”* high-tech political cyberthriller about a global information monopoly attempting to prevent election sabotage and world war. “This intriguing thought experiment is perfectly timed to leave readers pondering the meaning of voting and representative government in the run-up to the 2016 elections.” — *Publishers Weekly

LAST NIGHT A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE: Neil Gaiman!! Jodi Picoult!! Brad Meltzer!!…and an All-Star Roster on the Caped Crusaders That Changed Their Lives by Liesa Mignogna
An anthology of essays exploring the origins of bestselling and award-winning authors’ relationships to their favorite superheroes. “This is a collection with a lot of heart and variety; each piece takes the premise in a different direction and unveils in compelling ways why these superheroes are so revered.” — Library Journal readmoreremove

Maximum Shelf: THE BOOK OF SPECULATION

MaxShelf-BookOfSpeculation“I came across this book at auction as part of a larger lot I purchased on speculation. The damage renders it useless to me, but a name inside it led me to believe it might be of interest to you or your family…”

Last week’s Maximum Shelf Awareness featured a first novel near and dear to our hearts (and librarians’ hearts): THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler.

Simon Watson, a young librarian, lives alone in a house that is slowly crumbling toward the Long Island Sound. His parents are long dead. His mother, a circus mermaid who made her living by holding her breath, drowned in the very water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, ran off to join the circus six years ago.

One June day, an old book arrives on Simon’s doorstep. Fragile and water damaged, the book is a log from the owner of a traveling carnival in the 1700s, who reports strange and magical things—including the drowning death of a circus mermaid. Since then, generations of “mermaids” in Simon’s family have drowned—always on July 24, which is only weeks away.

As his friend Alice looks on with alarm, Simon becomes increasingly worried about his sister. Could there be a curse on Simon’s family? What does it have to do with the book, and can he stop it in time to save Enola?

“The meandering plot offers many charms: likable, quirky librarians; circus menageries and freak shows; love stories; tarot cards and trickery; mysticism; family secrets; and prickly sibling love—all accompanied by the author’s illustrations. [Swyler also painstakingly hand-bound, gilded and aged her manuscript submissions, in imitation of the old book in her story.] In short, THE BOOK OF SPECULATION, like the book at its center, promises to grasp the reader with a supernatural force and not let go.” — Shelf Awareness

See the full summary, review and interview with Erika Swyler on Shelf-Awareness.com. readmoreremove

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