Articles tagged "Shelf Awareness"
Today’s Maximum Shelf Awareness feature is HAPPINESS: The Crooked Little Road to Semi-Ever After by Heather Harpham.
In her debut memoir, award-winning playwright and performance artist Heather Harpham recounts her charming courtship with a New Yorker named Brian, and how it ends, full stop, when Heather becomes pregnant. Heather returns home to California to deliver their daughter alone, buoyed by family and friends. Mere hours after Gracie’s arrival, Heather’s first precious moments of happiness with her newborn are shattered when she learns her daughter has a rare blood condition that places her at high risk for brain damage or death. Brian reappears as Gracie’s condition grows dire; together Heather and Brian have to decide what they are willing to risk to ensure their girl sees adulthood.
“Harpham’s ability to capture an audience’s emotions takes center stage as a memoirist. Her deeply personal yet witty narrative style makes the reader feel instantly connected, as if Harpham is a close friend traveling a familiar ‘crooked little road to semi-ever after.’ Hers is a journey evoking a spectrum of emotions: hope, sadness, anger and, yes, happiness.” — Shelf Awareness
See the full summary, review and interview with Heather Harpham on Shelf-Awareness.com.
HAPPINESS will be available from Henry Holt & Company on August 1, 2017.
The author of STILL MISSING targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more. Lindsey Nash has left an abusive relationship and her ex-husband was sent to jail. She has started over with a new life, her own business, and a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she has cut all ties. There is no way he can ever find her and her daughter again. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her, tracking her every move. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded. Even her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he is a different person and doesn’t want to do her any harm. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead even closer to home than she thought?
“NEVER LET YOU GO… pushes on relentlessly from the first page toward a thrilling, unexpected—and yet entirely believable—conclusion. Stevens’s previous works have solidified her place as a master of suspense; in NEVER LET YOU GO, readers can look forward to a different approach to that suspense, but with the same satisfying thrill of the unexpected from start to finish.” — Shelf Awareness
“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
"I had a desire to write about Wisconsin, about place, friendship, love." — Nickolas Butler
We'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.
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
"'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.'"
Today'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.
Start reading now! Email firstname.lastname@example.org (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.
Today's Maximum Shelf features Orange Prize (now Women's Prize for Fiction) nominee Mary Kay Zuravleff's MAN ALIVE!, an electrifying novel about a family dealing with a strange disaster.
"It is rare enough to find a novel that combines a compelling story with beautiful writing, but even more unlikely to discover a novelist who can present these elements in as unique a way as Mary Kay Zuravleff has in MAN ALIVE! [...] The subtlety and intimacy with which Zuravleff portrays the Lerners would be enough to make MAN ALIVE! a compelling novel but her understanding of and ability to convey the slippery nature of reality and, by extension, what is 'normal' lifts it to another level. This is a wonderful and, in many ways, magical novel by a gifted author." —Shelf Awareness
See their full summary and review and also an interview with author and Mary Kay Zuravleff on Shelf-Awareness.com!
Get whitelisted and download a review copy from Edelweiss now:
"Mary Kay Zuravleff writes so well—with such wit and compassion and wry intelligence—that she can make the daily, domestic life that follows Owen Lerner’s encounter with the transcendent as electrifying as the lightning strike itself." —National Book Award-winner Alice McDermott
Today Shelf Awareness featured mystery novelist David Rosenfelt's nonfiction adventure tale (tail?), DOGTRIPPING: 25 Rescues, 11 Volunteers, and 3 RVs on Our Canine Cross-Country Adventure, in their Shelf Awareness for Readers e-newsletter. They said,
"There are two likely reactions to DOGTRIPPING, David Rosenfelt's account of driving from California to Maine with 25 dogs: 'That man is crazy' or 'What a blast!' Either one is reasonable. [...] Rosenfelt is an entertaining, self-depreciating storyteller. He intersperses the tale of the journey with vignettes about the dogs they have rescued through the years—each pup's portrait is only a few pages long, but even readers who aren't dog people will soon see how Rosenfelt found himself in such a crazy predicament—and find themselves wishing the journey was much longer."
The final verdict? "DOGTRIPPING is a wonderful gift for any dog—or animal—lover." We agree!
Kirkus Reviews called it "a warmhearted winner" and Booklist says it's a "spirited and absolutely absorbing reading for fans of canine capers."
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.
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!
Happy Monday, lovely librarians! Let's kick of the week with some great reads.
"There are few things in this world that can at once delight and dismay to the same extent as a formal dinner party."
- Shelf Awareness reviewed Esi Edugyan's Scotiabank Giller-winning novel, HALF-BLOOD BLUES. They said,
"One of the risks of historical fiction is that the history can get in the way of the fiction; the author's imagination is often crammed into a box of flat characters and plodding narrative in the name of accuracy. Such is not the case with Esi Edugyan's atmospheric second novel. [...] Edugyan's prose sparkles not only with the jive and banter of jazz musicians, but also with the metaphors of a music built on improvisation."
- NPR did a feature on Tupelo Hassman's GIRLCHILD (which you will recognize as the Featured Cover from our January e-newsletter!).
"Tupelo Hassman writes with such an eye for rough-and-tough detail, she obviously knows something about kids who have been given the dubious gift of premature autonomy."
- Author S.J. Bolton posted a piece on Goodreads called "Why we need our libraries." She talks about the experience of her local library (in the U.K.) transferring into the hands of the community after the government withdrew support. Bolton was then asked to manage the future purchase and rotation of books which she gladly accepted. Here are a few choice quotes from the article:
"A library, like the pub, the post office, the village shop, is part of the fabric of the community."
"No one, especially not my neighbours, should imagine the battle is over. Passing libraries into community ownership hasn't saved them, it has given them a stay of execution. If we are to keep them into the future, we'll need the ongoing commitment of our volunteers and the financial support of our sponsors. Most of all, though, we will need our libraries to be used."
Psst, Kristin Hannah fans...
Did you catch this month's edition of Maximum Shelf from Shelf Awareness? It's all about Kristin Hannah's latest novel, HOME FRONT!
The issue will introduce you to Jolene Zarkades, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot in the National Guard who is deployed to Iraq just as her perfect marriage begins to fall apart. They say,
"[Hannah] seamlessly weaves the two sides of a soldier's heart--the damage and the horror inflicted upon it with the honor and pride that make it beat--in Jolene. She is a hero, and her life is a hero's journey, psychological and spiritual and physical."
With an extensive plot summary, a great review, and an in-depth author interview, this issue will get you pumped and ready to recommend this new Kristin Hannah title.
"Kristin Hannah has written a passionate, inspired story of war's cost to a family; even more, the cost of silence."
And how awesome does the sitting guru (a.k.a. Vik) look in that snazzy Macmillan T-shirt??