Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, November 18, 2014


From My Shelf

Atria: A Game of Ghosts (Charlie Parker Mystery) by John Connolly

Tarcherperigee: Text, Don't Call: An Illustrated Guide to the Introverted Life by Aaron Caycedo-Kimura / You're Weird: A Creative Journal for Misfits, Oddballs, and Anyone Else Who's Uniquely Awesome by Kate Peterson

Italian-American Pilgrims

In my novella Cold Comfort, a workaholic photojournalist returns to an Italian-American enclave in Rhode Island to spend Thanksgiving with her only remaining relative, a hip 96-year-old aunt who texts and blogs. Challenged by a blizzard and a blackout, the aunt is intent on serving the family's traditionally Italian, seven-course Thanksgiving feast when a character off-handedly remarks, "Maybe your aunt thinks the pilgrims were Italian?"

With Italians, it's always about the food. But Italian-American culture has brought more to the American table than just culinary prowess. Their immigrant influence has distinctly touched all the arts--especially the literary landscape heralded by Gay Talese, Francine Prose, Mario Puzo and Adriana Trigiani.

Joseph Luzzi launches My Two Italies, his deeply personal Italian-American memoir, with a story about how, as a boy, a beloved aunt arrived at his house one morning and gave him a pet rabbit that, hours later, wound up served on the family dinner table. This is just the beginning of Luzzi's historical examination of the contradictions imbued in Italian culture both in the U.S. and abroad.

In All This Talk of Love, novelist Christopher Castellani lovingly explores the hopes, wishes and dreams of the Grasso family, Italian-American immigrants and their offspring, who, in this last book in a sweeping trilogy, must cope with their roots, the price of sacrifice and loss, myths and memories.

Italian-American writer Ann Hood chronicles a strongly feminine point-of-view in her novel An Italian Wife, a multi-generational saga centered on Josephine Rimaldi, a young woman who journeys from Italy for an arranged marriage and how the trajectory of her life is sensuously infused by family, faith and love.

Maybe after you whip up some Turkey Tetrazzini and Pumpkin Pie Gelato from your Thanksgiving leftovers, you'll be inspired to crack the cover on a book penned by a "pilgrim" of Italian-American descent. -- Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines


St. Martin's Press: The Breakdown by B.A. Paris


Book Candy

Bookish Real Estate; Actor-Writers

"Classic houses in literature go on the imaginary real estate market." Bustle asked if readers could identify them. And ShortList found several "classic authors' British houses on Google Maps."

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Lights, camera, fiction! Word & Film profiled "12 lit-bitten actors" who "have attempted to create the sublime through print. Whether any of them succeeded is the reader's opinion."
 
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Offering "bonus points if you pair one of these with a book (or seven)," Buzzfeed showcased "35 clever gifts any book-lover will want to keep for themselves."

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"Books about books, where literature is integral to life, are a genre in themselves," the Guardian observed in suggesting the "top 10 books about reading."

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Flavorwire recommended "50 writers you need to see read live," noting that the "best live appearances by writers are able to cast a spell over the audience."


Picador USA: South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby


Great Reads

Rediscover: Liar's Poker

First published in 1989, Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street by Michael Lewis (Norton) introduced many people to a Wall Street culture that included the concept of the "Big Swinging Dick," incessant casual profanity and games of liar's poker involving million-dollar stakes. This was the author's debut title, a smart, funny account of his rise to bond salesman at Salomon Brothers--and a history of this part of the Street. The book also launched his career, which has included Moneyball, The Big Short and most recently, Flash Boys. Sadly Liar's Poker is as topical today as it was when it appeared. In fact, as the author notes in an afterword in the publisher's 25th anniversary edition, things have gotten worse. "The events I'd taken in 1989 for absurdities of the moment.... wound up being long-term trends. They led directly into a world-historic financial crisis, and a far deeper dysfunction inside the financial sector than anything I'd witnessed while working in it." For a great story on the culture of Wall Street and how greed is not necessarily good, deal yourself in to Liar's Poker.


Thomas Nelson: Beneath Copper Falls (Rock Harbor Mysteries) by Colleen Coble


Now in Paper: November

Report from the Interior by Paul Auster (Picador, $16)
This is not your typical memoir. Auster tells his story in the second person and makes little effort to elaborate historical facts and instead writes from his "interior," focusing on moments that made an impact on his intellectual life. This new, somewhat odd book adds another piece to the jigsaw puzzle of one of our greatest writers.

My Mistake by Daniel Menaker (Mariner, $14.95)
A bout with cancer--now in remission--led Daniel Menaker (Good Talk) to reflect on his past and his career in publishing in My Mistake, which is marked by breezy wit and fascinating insider portraits of people with whom he has worked over the years. His memoir is a revealing insider's look at the world of the New Yorker and big-time book publishing.

American Mirror: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell by Deborah Solomon (Picador, $20)
Deborah Solomon's American Mirror is neither nostalgia nor revolutionary revisionism. Solomon is a pro whose biographies of Jackson Pollock and Joseph Cornell remain definitive studies, and she takes a fresh look at a man who transcended his complicated and troubling inner life to achieve a commercial success and a reasonably satisfying life.

Purgatory by Ken Bruen (Mysterious Press, $14)
Ken Bruen is an Irish treasure. In perhaps the best novel of his Jack Taylor series, a serial vigilante killer using the pseudonym Oscar Wilde sends cryptic notes to Taylor trying to get him to help in eliminating Galway's unpunished criminals freed by shady defense lawyers. In Purgatory, Ken Bruen brings his A game.

Hild by Nicola Griffith (Picador, $18)
Nicola Griffith creates an alternate reality, strange in its particulars yet utterly recognizable as human. Through the preternaturally observant eyes of Hild, she unfurls a vivid tapestry of nature and craft, belief and myth. Inspired by the life of St. Hilda of Whitby, Hild is an immersive experience, its exquisite language serving as a portal to a distant time and place.

Rustication by Charles Palliser (Norton, 15.95)
The long-awaited return to the meticulously detailed, yet always mysterious, gothic world of Charles Palliser's Victorian-era fiction, Rustication goes back to the setting of his previous novel, The Unburied, the coastal town of Thurchester. Richard Shenstone leaves Cambridge in December 1864 for his family's new home, but his father has recently died, and his mother and sister aren't particularly pleased to see him.

Sense & Sensibility by Joanna Trollope (Harper, $15.99)
Joanna Trollope reinterprets Sense & Sensibility in much the same way as Baz Luhrmann's Romeo & Juliet. The settings of Norland and Barton remain largely the same, but the Dashwood sisters are now smart, 21st-century versions of their Austenian counterparts, well-versed in the intricacies of social media. Trollope works just enough magic into her modernization to recommend readers back to Austen's masterpiece.

Through the Evil Days by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Minotaur, $15.99)
Newly married, with an unplanned baby on the way, police chief Russ van Alstyne and minister Clare Fergusson are headed to a secluded cabin for a belated honeymoon. Meanwhile, without its chief, the Millers Kill police department is racing to locate a young liver transplant recipient who's been kidnapped. Stakes are high, suspense is intense and momentum is swift.

Tatiana by Martin Cruz Smith (Simon & Schuster, $16)
Russian investigator Arkady Renko is unconvinced that fearless reporter Tatiana Petrovna chose to jump to her death. He wants to investigate, but once it's deemed a suicide he has no cause. The pieces don't add up, though, and when Grisha Grigorenko, a powerful mob boss and a target of Tatiana's reporting, is shot to death the same week, Renko's discomfort intensifies.


Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: The Library of Light and Shadow (Daughters of La Lune) by M.J. Rose


Book Review

Fiction

Proof of Angels

by Mary Curran Hackett


When Sean Magee, a troubled 30-year-old firefighter, becomes trapped while battling a raging inferno, he bargains with God: "If you get me out of this... I promise... I'll be a better man." As if in answer to the prayer, a mysterious angelic light leads him to an escape, where he is forced to take a blind leap. His jump from the three-story building casts him into a new life filled with disabling and prolonged physical challenges.

Sean's story is a spin-off thread from Mary Curran Hackett's previous novel, Proof of Heaven, in which a young boy with a life-threatening illness and his mother found their faith tested. "Uncle Sean"--a volatile, emotionally distant alcoholic--couldn't deal with their situation, so he ran away and created a new, single, solitary life in California. Proof of Angels, set three years later, delves into Sean's history, including how and why his heart was badly broken on an ill-fated trip to Italy years before.

After the fire, personal regret inhibits Sean's healing, and his physical immobility forces him to examine his conscience and make good on his life-saving promise to God. He must reconcile his past with the present, addressing his relationships with family, friends and caretakers who all have struggles of their own and, ultimately, with the woman he left behind across the ocean. Hackett delivers another gritty, yet hopeful story about the myriad ways broken human beings are often brought together to help and heal each other. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A firefighter with a deeply wounded body, soul and spirit searches for redemption and a second chance at life.

Morrow, $14.99, paperback, 9780062279958

Mystery & Thriller

Color Blind

by Colby Marshall


Colby Marshall (The Trade) introduces a promising series starring a forensic psychiatrist who has a neurological condition that causes her to see colors in relation to personalities and actions (grapheme-color synesthesia).

When two serial killers go on a killing spree at a theme park, the FBI captures the one calling the shots. Without losing his composure, the gunman announces he will speak only to criminal profiler Dr. Jenna Ramey, who has had psychopaths request her presence before. Using her synesthesia as a profiling tool has won Jenna minor fame in certain circles, and long ago, her gift allowed her to save her own family from her sociopathic mother. During interrogations, the killer keeps his true name a secret and dances her through frustrating mind games. Jenna realizes getting captured was actually a step in his much larger plan, and if she can't uncover his identity and find his at-large partner, more innocent people will die. With the help of an FBI agent--her former lover--and a sarcastic amateur investigator, Jenna races to stop another massacre.

Although Jenna's synesthesia helps the investigation, Marshall never uses it as a convenient shortcut or superpower. As she matches wits with a criminal genius, Jenna relies on her training and powers of deduction. High stakes and frequent setbacks keep the action taut and demonstrate Jenna's human frailties. Readers will eagerly await Jenna's next adventure, and with an imminent sequel, their wishes will quickly come true. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Discover: A new mystery series starring Dr. Jenna Ramey, a profiler who uses her synesthesia as a tool for catching criminals.

Berkley, $15, paperback, 9780425276518

Belfast Noir

by Adrian McKinty, Stuart Neville, editors


In the introduction to Belfast Noir, editors Adrian McKinty and Stuart Neville point out that "few cities have had as disturbed and violent a history as Belfast over the last half-century." The dark legacy of the Troubles (when Protestants and Catholics clashed violently between 1968 and 1998) still looms large in Northern Ireland's capital city, and these works are full of this grim history.

McKinty and Neville have gathered a collection of noir short stories that plainly show the gritty, murky, disturbing side of Belfast: gun-smugglers and possible pedophiles, lunatics and hit men. The conflict is never far from anyone's mind, whether it's the socially awkward teenager obsessed with creating montages full of Republican heroes or the "Prod" parents concerned about their daughter's Catholic boyfriend. Some of the stories--like "Rosie Grant's Finger" by Claire McGowan, which stars a teenaged detective named Aloysius, and "The Undertaking" by Brian McGilloway--are quite funny. Gerard Brennan's "Ligature" and "Pure Game" by Arlene Hunt, on the other hand, are unsettling. As Lee Child has said, Belfast is "still the most noir place on earth."

Fans of the other genre anthologies in this Akashic series--such as Brooklyn Noir and London Noir--are sure to enjoy Belfast Noir, as will anyone with an interest in this complicated city. The works are short, allowing readers to savor each snippet or devour the entire compelling book in a day, depending on just how deliciously gloomy they're feeling. --Jessica Howard, blogger at Quirky Bookworm

Discover: A collection of noir short stories set in the troubled city of Belfast.

Akashic, $15.95, paperback, 9781617752919

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Willful Child

by Steven Erikson


Captain Hadrian Sawback and his handpicked crew on the starship Willful Child are on a mission to explore, subjugate and hopefully blow up as much stuff as possible in this wacky, self-aware sci-fi novel from Steven Erikson (the Malazan Book of the Fallen series).

Newly promoted Captain Sawback selected his crew based on their pictures, so the ship is full of beautiful women, fearful executive officers and odd-looking aliens. His competent second-in-command, Sin-Dour, is a stunner who skillfully rejects most of his advances. The gorgeous helmswoman, on the other hand, is all beauty, no brains. Engineer Buck DeFrank is a mess of neurotic fears, including a serious case of claustrophobia. Then there's ship's doctor Printlip, a genderless alien who uses air as both a structural component of its body as well as its main vocal communication process, resulting in quite a few deflated sentences during tense moments.

The Star Trek parody is thick, but Erikson overlays the humor with some rather far-reaching philosophy. While the Kirk analog is, indeed, a womanizer who prefers fisticuffs to diplomacy, there's a method to his madness, which becomes clearer as the story unfolds. The ship's artificial intelligence acts as a foil for Sawback's pugilistic instincts and their interactions provide much of the philosophical commentary.

Overall, Willful Child is a rollicking read that never lets up on the satire, action and self-referential meta-humor. Fans of Star Trek and other science-fiction classics will recognize both parody and homage. --Rob LeFebvre, freelance writer and editor

Discover: A hilarious novel that uses its Star Trek source material both to entertain and make a point about humanity's complacency in the face of the unknown.

Tor, $24.99, hardcover, 9780765374899

Nonfiction

Footsteps in the Snow

by Charles Lachman


Seven-year-old Maria Ridulph disappeared on a snowy December evening in 1957. She was playing outside with a friend when a stranger approached offering piggyback rides. Maria's friend ran home to fetch her mittens; when she returned, there was no trace of Maria or the stranger. Despite the determination of her community, national attention and FBI involvement, no one was charged with Maria's disappearance. Her body wasn't discovered until the following April; her killer wasn't arrested and tried for more than half a century.

Footsteps in the Snow details the oldest cold case ever brought to trial in the United States. Charles Lachman, Inside Edition executive producer and author of A Secret Life, guides readers through the lives of those closest to the case by meticulously examining the evidence, historical records and his own interviews.

The murderer's identity is made clear early on, so this true-crime book reads less like a mystery and more like a thriller as law enforcement agents struggle to uncover the truth over an improbable span of time. Events are at times almost unbelievable, like a deathbed confession, and at other times disheartening, such as when investigators neglected to show the lone witness a picture of the killer--and original suspect--in 1958.

Though extremely well researched, the account is occasionally weighed down with unnecessary detail, and like many true crime stories it may leave readers with some unanswered questions. Even so, Lachman maintains a high level of suspense and keeps a quick pace; the result is undeniably enthralling. --Jen Forbus of Jen's Book Thoughts

Discover: The oldest cold case brought to trial in the U.S., involving the murder of a seven-year-old girl from Illinois.

Berkley, $9.99, mass market paperbound, 9780425272886

Biography & Memoir

Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love

by James Booth


Though his poems are beloved in Britain, it seems that most Americans have no idea who Philip Larkin (1922-1985) was. Readers unfamiliar with this great poet can learn much from James Booth's engaging Philip Larkin: Life, Art and Love. Booth (New Larkins for Old) is closely involved with the Larkin Society and was a colleague of Larkin at the University of Hull, so his biography of this lauded postwar British poet (a contemporary of W.H. Auden and Dylan Thomas) presents a fairly sympathetic portrait.

While Larkin's work was praised, it was a different case with the man. Many perceived him as a racist, a misogynist and a narcissist. Booth prefers to frame Larkin as misunderstood. As he shows, Larkin was rather reclusive. He rarely read in public, preferring to work tirelessly at his craft, revising and revising each poem, while serving as a librarian at Hull. His total output was meager--four collections (one every 10 years or so) and two novels--but what poems they were: "Church Going," "The Whitsun Weddings," "Aubade" and "This Be the Verse," with its infamous opening line, "They f*ck you up, your mum and dad."

Booth goes into great detail when addressing the "love" (Larkin had relationships with many women, including three at a time) but it's the "art" (the individual poems) that he relishes writing about and analyzing. These poems, which John Updike perfectly describes as "ruminative, frank... seemingly unconscious of [themselves] as poetic," ought to be read and enjoyed forever. Booth's biography is impeccably written, illuminating and revelatory. --Tom Lavoie, former publisher

Discover: A revisionist biography of one of Britain's greatest and most misunderstood post-World War II poets.

Bloomsbury, $35, hardcover, 9781620407813

Social Science

The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems... and Create More

by Luke Dormehl


Luke Dormehl's The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems... and Create More explores the coded procedures that underpin modern society, politics and technology. While we often associate algorithms with mathematics, the advent of the Internet moved them beyond basic numbers--they're a series of step-by-step instructions, and they power an increasingly large amount of entities and corporations.

Social media sites like Facebook use algorithms to decide which posts and ads to display based on a user's history of interaction, but there are other less-obvious applications. Human resources departments use them to single out "the best" candidates from a pool of applicants, meteorologists rely on complex systems of algorithms to determine if it'll rain this weekend and governments spend billions of dollars on algorithmic systems of terrorist tracking.

The latter is a prime example of the sort of concerns that arise from the pervasive use of algorithms. How are the procedures coded to determine who is a threat? What level of threat warrants each level of (algorithmically determined) response? How do the biases of those developing the algorithms affect the outcome? If an algorithm "works," does that mean that it is correctly measuring something and providing information about it, or can an algorithm provide its own "correctness bias" without actually yielding a true result?

Dormehl (The Apple Revolution) ranges wide in his fascinating book to cover the increasingly data-driven medical field, online dating, the use of algorithms in law and how algorithms are not only finding new employees, but in many cases becoming the new employees. --Matthew Tiffany, LCPC, writer for Condalmo and psychotherapist

Discover: A careful unpacking of the notion that everything around us, and within us, can be assessed through algorithms.

Perigee, $24, hardcover, 9780399170539

Psychology & Self-Help

It's Not About the Shark: How to Solve Unsolvable Problems

by David Niven


The origin of the phrase "thinking outside the box" is a bit murky, though it is sometimes attributed to the workplace culture at the Walt Disney Company, where a simple nine-dot puzzle shaped like a grid was used by management consultants to demonstrate creative problem-solving. Over time, the directive to think outside the box has been given so frequently that what we now consider "in the box" has expanded considerably. In It's Not About the Shark, David Niven (author of the 100 Simple Secrets series) aims to shake up our stagnant notion of how to address problems.

The titular shark refers to the mechanical creature used in Steven Spielberg's Jaws. That animatronic beast was plagued with malfunctions, and Spielberg found himself running short on time and money with only two apparent options: sink everything into repairing the shark and likely end up with an unfinished movie, or press ahead with the shark he had and wind up with a joke of a movie. As film buffs know, Spielberg carved out a third option: in the movie, the shark doesn't appear for the first 81 minutes.

Niven's book explores what it means to think outside the box, how we look at the problems we face, how we see ourselves and how to be comfortable with the ambiguity difficult challenges can present. He doesn't provide specific solutions here but instead offers a shining toolkit for more adaptive thinking. --Matthew Tiffany, LCPC, writer for Condalmo and psychotherapist

Discover: A guide to looking at problems from different perspectives.

St. Martin's Press, $24.99, hardcover, 9781250042033

The Gift of Maybe: Finding Hope and Possibility in Uncertain Times

by Allison Carmen


Before she became a business consultant and life coach, Allison Carmen was a stressed-out attorney working at a large Manhattan law firm. Plagued by depression, sleeplessness and hopelessness, she was "addicted to certainty," a need to know the future and what was going to happen next.

One day, Carmen's Qigong instructor shared a parable that sparked an epiphany, changing her way of thinking--and her life. Carmen realized that the unexpected is often viewed through a prism of negativity clouded by fear. She learned to apply a new approach--what she calls Maybe, a transformative, life-strengthening philosophy. No matter how dire a situation may appear or how far it may deviate from the plan, Maybe encourages us to investigate what is possible in a situation, rather than what is impossible. Seemingly bad circumstances, disappointments, failures, struggles and losses can become gateways that lead toward positive breakthroughs.

Carmen illustrates her Maybe philosophy with examples from her own life and those of ordinary people who have faced challenges in business, relationships, health, finance and retirement. She also cites stories of notable figures, such as Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, whose personal setbacks have often become sources of empowerment. Thought-provoking questions and strategies, such as breathing exercises, visualization techniques, meditations and mantras, will inspire seekers consciously to bend their minds toward the idea that everything has the power to be a good and positive life force. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: An inspiring self-help book about how a change in perspective can lead to positive results in the uncontrollable aspects of life.

Perigee, $15, paperback, 9780399169533

Nature & Environment

The Story of My Heart

by Richard Jefferies, as rediscovered by Brooke Williams and Terry Tempest Williams


In a dusty Maine bookstore, writer Terry Tempest Williams (When Women Were Birds) and her husband, Brooke Williams, picked up an unfamiliar book that they quickly came to love: The Story of My Heart by English naturalist Richard Jefferies, originally published in 1883. As Brooke writes, "classic works of literature need to be rediscovered and reinterpreted every age for their clues to contemporary issues." This new edition of Jefferies's autobiography includes an introduction by Terry and Brooke's commentary following each chapter.

Don't be fooled by its small size. This is a book to be taken slowly and savored, because all three of its wise and pensive authors demand and deserve careful consideration. Here is Walden, but more mystical, and with no room to criticize the author for returning to wealthy drawing rooms between his stays in the woods. Jefferies has been characterized as a nature writer and a mystic; in Brooke's words, "Jefferies writes less specifically about the natural world surrounding him, but in great detail the path his mind takes through that original world." The Story of My Heart is a philosophical, wondering and wandering, musing, personal ode to the natural world and human potential. The Williamses make his contemplations relevant by analysis--for example, applying the context of climate change--but also explore a more intimate connection, as Brooke ponders the nature of his obsession with this book.

Both literal and spiritually minded readers can appreciate this remarkable collaboration through the counterpoint of Brooke's responses to each chapter and the timeless thoughts in the original work. --Julia Jenkins, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Discover: An exceptional meditation on nature and "soul-life," republished after many years out of print and contextualized for modern minds.

Torrey House Press, $21.95, hardcover, 9781937226411

Children's & Young Adult

Winter Bees & Other Poems of the Cold

by Joyce Sidman, illus. by Rick Allen


In a dozen mesmerizing poems, Joyce Sidman (who teamed with Rick Allen for Dark Emperor) describes the cycle of the season, from the birds that migrate at the first sign of winter ("Dream of the Tundra Swan") to the skunk cabbage that serves as a harbinger of spring, "the first flower in the wood."

A symphony of rhyming couplets, "Snake's Lullaby" begins: "Brother, sister, flick your tongue/ and taste the flakes of autumn sun./ Use these last few hours of gold/ to travel, travel toward the cold." Allen pictures a few garter snakes moving from a bed of golden fallen leaves to a mass of writhing mates (as many as 20,000, according to the fact-filled sidebar) to keep warm for the winter. With a turn of the page, readers travel from earth to sky. One of the most exquisite spreads, "Snowflake Wakes," seems to be viewed from the "dizzy cloud" that gave birth to each "pinwheel gathering glitter." Rick Allen layers these unusual crystal patterns atop green pines that reach skyward, their needled branches forming a pleasing contrast to the fox stretching out in the snow.

Sidman introduces humor for "Big Brown Moose" ("I'm a rascally moose,/ I'm a moose with a tough, shaggy hide"), who stays put for the winter, and a nearly sacred tone for the title poem, "Winter Bees": "We are an ancient tribe,/ a hardy scrum./ Born with eyelash legs/ and tinsel wings,/ we are nothing on our own./ Together, we are One." This author-artist duo makes winter wonder-filled. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: A dozen poems from the team behind the Newbery Honor–winning Dark Emperor reveal nature's wonders of the season.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99, hardcover, 32p., ages 6-9, 9780547906508

Naptime

by Iris de Moüy, trans. by Shelley Tanaka


In this clever role reversal sure to strike a chord with preschoolers, a girl calls for a savanna-wide siesta, much to the dismay of its inhabitants.

"I don't want to have a nap," says a zebra, the lines of its furrowed brow making angles against its horizontal stripes. "Naps are for little babies," a crotchety crocodile offers. "Tiny little babies," adds a hippo. With the barest gestural black outlines in gouache, and saturated colors only where needed, Moüy gets across the emotional resistance of each animal, often highlighting its main characteristic. An elephant so large its head is cut off at the top of the page cries, "I'm too big to have a nap," while an ostrich hides its head in a hole ("I'm not even here") and a gazelle leaps off the right-hand side of the page so that only its hind legs and horns show ("I don't have time for a nap"). Children will love guessing the lion's excuse: "Kings don't take naps," of course. Because Moüy never labels the animals, children can also figure out which animal would respond, "Ha, ha, ha. A nap? What a joke!" (A hyena, naturally.) One of the funniest pairings features only the neck of the giraffe, high in the treetops ("I'm too tall to have a nap"), while a monkey perches on one of its branches ("and I'm too busy").

Children will be delighted when the resourceful girl outsmarts them all. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: A clever girl who delivers a twist of a bedtime--make that naptime--tale.

Groundwood, dist. by PGW, $16.95, hardcover, 28p., ages 3-5, 9781554984879

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Author Buzz

Dear Reader,

Many books ago, my Demonica world expanded to include Sheoul-gra, a realm presided over by the Grim Reaper and the not-as-grim Hades. Since then, Sheoul-gra has been the setting for much matchmaking and mayhem. But with Razr, I’ve expanded the world and given readers new territory to explore.

So grab a glass of wine, a comfy seat, and see what happens when a sexy fallen angel and a feisty elf go on their own journey of exploration!

Please write to 1001DarkNights@gmail.com to win one of five copies.

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Publisher: Evil Eye Concepts, Inc

Pub Date: 04/11/2017

ISBN:9781945920219

List Price: $2.99

 

Dear Reader,

The Mourning Parade is my seventh novel, and the story closest to my heart. Its themes of love and forgiveness, grief and hope will resonate with anyone who has lost someone they couldn't imagine living without. Through the eyes of themain character, equine veterinarian Natalie DeAngelo, this deeply emotional novel explores the capacity of a mother's love, the challenge of overcoming a devastating loss, and the long, tiresome journey to healing. 

Email proflangley@gmail.com with the subject line "The Mourning ParadeGiveaway" for a chance to win a free, signed copy.

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https://www.themourningparade.com/

 

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Publisher: Amberjack Publishing

Pub Date: 07/18/2017

ISBN:9781944995232

List Price: $15.99

 

Dear Reader,

Sometimes it's a place, other times it's a person that inspires a book. With The Library of Light and Shadow it was an image of a beautiful young woman wearing a blindfold and holding a paintbrush.... and I had the idea of a woman who closed her eyes and drew portraits of her sitter's secrets. 

Travel with me to New York in 1925 and then to the South of France with some days in Paris along the way. I want to take you on a journey to the past... an unusual past filled with some familiar names -- like Picasso -- and some characters I've created. 

I hope you like my new novel and enter to win one of five copies. Write me at MJRosewriter@gmail.com.

Cheers and Happy Reading,
M.J. Rose

http://www.mjrose.com

 

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Publisher: Atria

Pub Date: 07/18/2017

ISBN:9781476778129

List Price: $26.00

 

Dear Reader,

"Trust" is my first ever Young Adult Romance and it also happens to be my first independent release. It's a little different to the Contemporary Romance that I normally write, so I'm extremely excited (and quietly terrified) to share it with you. This book is much more than just a coming of age story. It is the story of what happens to seventeen-year-old Edie when she gets caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the local convenience store. It's about a girl struggling with body issues and then dealing with PTSD while reassessing her whole life. It's about her life after the family the friends the struggle and the boy who survived the robbery with her who is supposed to be just her friend, but maybe winds up becoming a whole lot more.

To celebrate the release of "Trust", I've got five signed copies to give away! kyliescottbooks@gmail.com.

 

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Publisher: Kylie Scott

Pub Date: 07/18/2017

ISBN:9781546768098

List Price: $4.99

 

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