Articles tagged "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: UNCANNY VALLEY (9/4/19)

Today’s Maximum Shelf pick is Anna Wiener’s page-turning account of her time in Silicon Valley, UNCANNY VALLEY: A Memoir.

In her mid-twenties, at the height of tech industry idealism, Anna Wiener—stuck, broke, and looking for meaning in her work, like any good millennial—left a job in book publishing for the promise of the new digital economy. She moved from New York to San Francisco, where she landed at a big-data startup in the heart of the Silicon Valley bubble: a world of surreal extravagance, dubious success, and fresh-faced entrepreneurs hell-bent on domination, glory, and, of course, progress.

Anna arrived during a massive cultural shift, as the tech industry rapidly transformed into a locus of wealth and power rivaling Wall Street. But amid the company ski vacations and in-office speakeasies, boyish camaraderie and ride-or-die corporate fealty, a new Silicon Valley began to emerge: one in far over its head, one that enriched itself at the expense of the idyllic future it claimed to be building.

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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: 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 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 DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS

This week’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick is the bewitching and eagerly-awaited THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS by Katherine Howe!

New York Times bestselling author Katherine Howe returns to the world of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE with a bewitching story of a New England history professor who must race against time to free her fiancé from a curse.

Connie Goodwin is an expert on America’s fractured past with witchcraft. A young, tenure-track professor in Boston, she’s earned career success by studying the history of magic in colonial America–especially women’s home recipes and medicines–and by exposing society’s threats against women fluent in those skills. But beyond her studies, Connie harbors a secret: She is the direct descendant of a woman tried as a witch in Salem, an ancestor whose abilities were far more magical than the historical record shows. When a hint from her mother and clues from her research lead Connie to the shocking realization that her partner’s life is in danger, she must race to solve the mystery behind a hundreds-years-long deadly curse. Flashing back through American history to the lives of certain supernaturally gifted women, THE DAUGHTERS OF TEMPERANCE HOBBS affectingly reveals not only the special bond that unites one particular matriarchal line, but also explores the many challenges to women’s survival across the decades–and the risks some women are forced to take to protect what they love most.

“Howe’s seamless blending of fantasy, history, suspense and romance–coupled with vivid characters, dynamic tone and a thrilling pace–result in a riveting novel. She has clearly unearthed the magic recipe for crafting superb fiction, and readers will reap the rewards.”–Shelf Awareness

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

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!

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