Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, December 9, 2011


Lion Forge: No Ivy League by Hazel Newlevant

From My Shelf

Neal Porter Books: Why? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger

Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustrations —Register Now!

The Joy of Browsing

Given the seemingly ubiquitous use of synonym finders or Google in place of a dictionary, we've lost the joys of browsing through a dictionary. You start by searching for "meme" and get sidetracked by and "membrillo" or "Memel" (which takes you to "Klaipeda"). But all is well for "real dictionary" lovers, according to Steve Kleinedler, executive editor of the American Heritage Dictionary, our guest editorialist:

"With the wealth of information available on phones and computers, you might find it surprising that Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has recently published the 2,112-page, 7.5-pound, fifth edition of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. If you grew up with a dictionary, you know there's nothing so visceral and engaging as plunging into its pages. Unquestionably, you need plenty of quick electronic look-ups, but nothing can replace the experience of jumping into a dictionary and getting lost among its words. You will uncover facts about the English language you'd never imagined--for example, by reading the history of what you'd assumed to be a common everyday word and seeing how it connects in surprising ways to other words, thanks to a common ancestor from a long-distant language. By making the app version available with the printed book, we're hopeful that electronic audiences will find a new reason to try the printed book and will use both, depending on the need. A home that displays a print dictionary on its shelves is a home where education is encouraged and fostered, where children and adults actively seek to expand their awareness of their place within society, and where the pursuit of knowledge is supplemented with serendipitous discovery about the world they live in and the language they speak. If a sacred scripture unites the people of a given faith, then a dictionary unites the people of a given tongue."


International Thriller Writers: William Morrow & Company: The Last Widow (Will Trent #9) by Karin Slaughter


Bookselling News

Ed Westwick Helps Launch Clockwork Prince

Actor Ed Westwick of Gossip Girl fame, who reads the audiobook of Clockwork Prince, joined author Cassandra Clare Tuesday night at the launch event for Clockwork Prince (reviewed below) at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in New York. Ed introduced Cassandra to a very excited crowd of more than 350 fans.

Grove Press: Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs


The Writer's Life

Book Brahmin: Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper grew up in Southern California. In 1976, he founded the punk magazine and publishing house Little Caesar, which he ran until 1982. His novels include the five-book George Miles Cycle, My Loose Thread, The Sluts (winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Book of Men's Fiction for 2005) and God Jr. His newest novel is The Marbled Swarm (Harper Perennial, November 1, 2011), the story of a man who secretly influences his son to commit a grisly act. Cooper divides his time between Los Angeles and Paris.

On your nightstand right now:

Actually, I'm reading five books at the same time at the moment. That's not my usual habit, but it just seems to have happened. I'm far enough into all of them to report that they're each quite wonderful. They are: Divorcer by Gary Lutz; Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia by Blake Butler; Daddy's by Lindsay Hunt; Bowstring: On the Dissimilarity of the Similar by Viktor Shklovsky; and Green Girl by Kate Zambreno. 

Favorite book when you were a child:

L. Frank Baum's Tik-Tok of Oz. I loved the Oz books in general, but Tik-Tok was my favorite character, I think because his malady was so complicated. The Lion would get scared, and the Scarecrow could get ripped apart, but Tik-Tok was made of three distinct machines that controlled his movements, his speech and his intelligence. They could fail at any time in any combination, and so his problematic elements were more unpredictable and complex. 

Your top five authors:

Of all time: Maurice Blanchot, Arthur Rimbaud, Alain Robbe-Grillet, the Marquis de Sade, Raymond Roussel.

Contemporary: John Ashbery, David Foster Wallace, Pierre Guyotat, Steven Millhauser, Gary Lutz. 

Book you've faked reading:

Back when I was in school, I fake-read just about every book I was assigned. Let's say Homer's The Odyssey, which I think fake-read quite a number of times. 

Book you're an evangelist for:

Agota Kristof's novel trilogy The Notebook/TheProof/The Third Lie, which is sometimes known collectively as The Book of Lies. The trilogy is published by Grove Press in the U.S., and it's one of the greatest works of 20th-century literature, in my opinion. 

Book you've bought for the cover:

The Revolution of Little Girls by Blanche McCrary Boyd.

Book that changed your life:

It's almost a cliché of an answer but, as was the case for so many people I know, reading Arthur Rimbaud's A Season in Hell when I was 15 changed the whole world for me. 

Favorite line from a book:

"When you're expecting bad news you have to be prepared for it a long time ahead so that when the telegram comes you can already pronounce the syllables in your mouth before opening it." --Robert Pinget in Mahu, or the Material

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Present and the Past by Ivy Compton-Burnett. I've been a sentence fetishist since I was young, and I never imagined sentences could be both crabbed and spectacular until I discovered Compton-Burnett via this book, which is still my favorite of hers. Her prose was a major discovery for me, and I wish I could relive that first rush of weird air.


Charlesbridge Publishing: Sumokitty by David Biedrzycki


Literary Lists

Books for Nonreaders; Best Fictional Sleuths; Writers on Reading

Flavorwire recommended "10 awesome books to give your nonreading friends," offering "a fool-proof list of book-shaped objects that everyone on your non-literary list will love."

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The Guardian offered a slide show feature on the "10 best fictional sleuths."

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"Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you'd most like not to lose," Neil Gaiman observed. This is just one of the "40 inspiring quotes about reading from writers," which were showcased by Flavorwire.


Minotaur Books: The Bitterroots by CJ Box


Book Review

Fiction

One Hundred and One Nights

by Benjamin Buchholz


The site of Abu Saheed's new mobile phone and satellite dish shop in the southern Iraqi town of Safwan allows a prime view of the highway overpass used by the passing American military convoys, which he tracks daily. Although he hasn't been in town or in business long, his life seems to have taken on a routine in just weeks: days in the marketplace, dinners at an old friend's restaurant and nights alone in his unfinished house. That new routine is unsettled when a local girl begins visiting him in the evenings as he's closing the shop.

But things aren't what they seem. Through use of flashback, foreshadowing and stream of consciousness, One Hundred and One Nights unwinds the story of an Iraqi physician who returns home to Baghdad after years of study and medical practice in Chicago, believing he could help his country rebuild after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Now, renaming himself "Father Truth," he stays in an isolated southern town selling mobile phones as a cover for a mission of destruction. That mission isn't what it seems, either. As the story builds, the reader begins to question the reliability of the narrator and the reality of his situation, adding to the dramatic tension as the flashbacks and the present converge.

Benjamin Buchholz's unit of the Wisconsin National Guard was deployed to Iraq in 2005, and he and his family have remained in the Middle East. His assumption of an Iraqi voice and viewpoint, and his depiction of native characters, settings and customs are informed and convincing. One Hundred and One Nights is an absorbing, affecting and beautifully written first novel. --Florinda Pendley Vasquez, blogger at The 3 R's Blog: Reading, 'Riting, and Randomness

Discover: A riveting, tragic tale of connections and deceptions in war-torn Iraq.

Back Bay, $13.99, trade paper, 9780316133777

Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto

by Gianni Rodari, trans. by Antony Shugaar


Baron Lamberto is 93 years old, owns 24 banks and suffers from 24 maladies. He lives in a villa on the island of San Giulio, in the middle of Lake Orta (a real lake near the birthplace of famed Italian children's author Gianni Rodari). Lamberto is served by his faithful butler who always carries an umbrella, and when the two of them visit Egypt, an Arab fakir in the shadow of the Sphinx confides to them a secret of the pharaohs: "The man whose name is spoken remains alive."

In light of this secret, Lamberto hires six people to chant his name continually in the attic of the villa, working in shifts, with board, lodging and all the hard candy they can eat. Tiny microphones are installed everywhere, so at any time he can hear them chanting: "Lamberto, Lamberto, Lamberto." And soon Lamberto begins to change. Two new hairs appear on the top of his bald head. The baron's wrinkles start smoothing out. Within a few weeks, he looks like a 40-year-old, straight, tall, blond and athletic, swimming around his island every morning to stay in shape.

Then 24 bandits lay siege to the villa and kidnap the baron. To show they mean business, they slice off the baron's ear and send it to his bankers in an envelope. A sliced-off finger follows. Fortunately, since this is a fairytale, the severed body parts grow back, as long as the six singers in the attic keep up their chant.

Making a comedy out of a terrorist kidnapping is tricky stuff, but this book for both children and adults is a daring high-wire act that works. Before Rodari wraps up his tale, there's a nighttime escape in a hot air balloon and Boy Scouts to the rescue. The story toys with several endings before settling for a completely unconventional one, which the author then defends. Since the book was published after his death in 1980, Rodari's last words remind you that by far the most charming element of the entire story has been his delightful, gleefully chuckling, honestly childlike voice. --Nick DiMartino, Nick's Picks, University Book Store, Seattle

Discover: An ancient Egyptian secret allows elderly Baron Lamberto to begin aging backward, until he's kidnapped by bandits in this fairytale by Italy's premier children's writer.

Melville House Publishing, $22.95, hardcover, 9781935554615

Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope

by Max Lucado


Max Lucado is one of the most widely read Christian authors worldwide, with more than 100 million books in print. Christmas Stories draws upon that body of work, gathering old and new short stories with Christian quotes and Christmas essays set in between.

The stories are set in various times and places: "Christmas Candle" is about an angel in a 19th-century English village, while "The Christmas Child" takes place in modern Texas and  "An Angel's Story" recounts the epic battle of angel versus demon over the birth of Christ. The collection makes for an extremely quick and easy read; Lucado uses a basic language with very little atmospheric description. Time moves rapidly, almost to the point of feeling rushed, keeping the stories at a rapid pace.

Despite those stylistic drawbacks, Christmas Stories is a heartwarming collection based on strong Christian foundations, set apart from other books about biblical Christmas by the unusual perspectives Lucado adopts: looking at things through the eyes of Joseph or the angel Gabriel, to name a few. There aren't many laughs to be had, but the shedding of happy tears is unavoidable in a collection that reminds us of the reason for the season. --Sara Dobie, blogger at Wordpress

Discover: A heartfelt, easy-to-read collection of Christian holiday sentiment from an author beloved by millions.

Thomas Nelson, $17.99, hardcover, 9781401685430

Mystery & Thriller

The Impossible Dead

by Ian Rankin


Inspector Malcolm Fox of the Complaints (aka Internal Affairs) of the Edinburgh police department is sent to nearby Kirkcaldy to conduct what appears to be a straightforward investigation: three members of the Kirkcaldy force may have conspired to hide evidence, to protect a fellow officer. Fox and two colleagues are to provide a report of their findings to the Kirkcaldy police department, whose own Complaints crew has not been given the assignment due to various conflicts of interest. The existence of such conflicts is the first red flag to the team from Edinburgh.

The next red flag flaps in Fox's face when nobody in Kirkcaldy wants to meet with him, much less answer questions. In the hands of Ian Rankin (author of the hugely popular Detective Inspector Rebus series), this follow-up to The Complaints starts off with simple obstructions to a routine assignment and grows increasingly complex as the task of pinning down today's cover-ups leads to previously unquestioned (but disconcertingly relevant) cover-ups over the past 30 years.

Rankin is as supremely adept at unfolding the mystery as he is at juggling multiple plot threads. Touching on the trade in weaponry to paramilitary groups, assassinations in the name of national security and the use of fear in keeping the downtrodden in their traditional place, his vivid characters josh, connive and inform each other. One source answers the Inspector's question about the motivation of terrorist cells with, "They have seen the systems around them fail, yet the status quo remains. Frustration turns to anger and anger to a sense of injustice." The Inspector is disturbed by that answer, but then he knows that disturbing facts can often hold the key to solving your case. --John McFarland, author

Discover: A routine internal affairs investigation widens to reveal decades of corruption, violence and cover-ups in this thrilling mystery.

Reagan Arthur, $25.99, hardcover, 9780316039772

Dead Last

by James W. Hall


James W. Hall (Magic City; Silencer), South Florida resident, Edgar Award winner and creator of Thorn, that Key Largo loner whose renegade style always gets results, has written another page-turner, this time with a surprising twist.

April Moss is an obituary writer for the Miami Herald; Sawyer, one of her twin sons, writes scripts for a cable TV series called Miami Ops and has been using the obits as part of his storyline. The other twin, Flynn, is the lead actor on the series. In the show, a serial killer is using obits to select his victims. Suddenly, a copycat appears: a real-life serial killer using April's obits.

Thorn's wife, Rusty, has just died as the story begins. April writes an obit about Rusty, and a copy is found at the bedsideof her Aunt Michaela, murdered by an unknown intruder. A young sheriff from Oklahoma is investigating the murder and travels to Key Largo to ask Thorn for help. But Thorn is losing it--burning all his possessions, spending days and nights in his hammock, refusing help offered by his P.I. friend, Sugarman. The sheriff, Buddha Hilton, talks him into helping her because, somehow, this murder is tied up with Rusty. Other murders take place, also with April's obituary notices left at the crime scene. Buddha sees a pattern in how the killer decides on the victim, the place and the weapon.

Which of the many suspects is the right one? As if that weren't enough of a puzzle, Thorn gets the surprise of his life in the course of the investigation. --Valerie Ryan, Cannon Beach Book Company, Ore.

Discover: Florida Keys loner Thorn joins an Oklahoma sheriff to try to sort out the motivation behind a series of copycat killings based on a TV show.

Minotaur, $25.99, hardcover, 9780312607326

The Alpine Winter: An Emma Lord Mystery

by Mary Daheim


A corpse is found in a cave, bones are discovered near the river: a killer may be on the loose during the "most wonderful time of the year" in Alpine, a small residential enclave in the Cascade Mountain region of Washington State. Amid the puzzling twists and turns of the investigation, as past and present collide, a host of quirky, small-town characters are challenged by their own personal dilemmas and familial woes--which may tie into the crimes.

Sorrow, secrets and scandal are at the core of The Alpine Winter, the 23rd installment in Mary Daheim's cozy Alpine Mystery series. The now 50-something narrator/protagonist, Emma Lord--the inquisitive, charming, often klutzy editor of the local newspaper--becomes embroiled in the investigation while trying to juggle the complications of her own personal life. Will she ever find the right time to tell her brother and her son, both upstanding Roman Catholic priests who are visiting for Christmas, about her affair with the town sheriff, a man with whom she has shared a thorny romantic past?

Daheim punctuates the Alpine stories with humor and a large population of recurrent characters who take turns in the spotlight to unravel multiple story threads in selected novels. This time around, two of the editors at Emma's paper play a central role in the mystery, but there are also prominent parts for the sheriff and his deputies--and the postman. In the end, Emma Lord--fully human and flawed--and the dilemmas she faces, engages the reader to care as much about her as this page-turning mystery. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A cozy mystery where murder, secrets and scandal challenge a tight-knit, Pacific Northwest community during the Christmas season.

Ballantine, $25, hardcover, 9780345502599

Romance

An O'Brien Family Christmas

by Sherryl Woods


Disillusioned accountant Laila Riley is stuck in a bad phase of her life, and it's all because of a philandering younger man, Matthew O'Brien, who stole her heart and created a rift with her family that cost her a job. When she finally breaks off her steamy affair, Laila finds that she's lost without Matthew and his large Irish-American clan. It looks as though she might even be spending Christmas alone--until Matthew, devastated by their split, becomes determined to win Laila back. Through the efforts of his meddling, lovable family, Laila is convinced to join the O'Briens at their Christmas celebration in Dublin, under the condition that she and Matthew will keep "hands off" each other and start their courtship afresh.

The seventh installment in Sherryl Woods's Chesapeake Shores series is a warm, touching story about familial ties, romance and love. Matthew and Laila hold center stage, and (as in previous books) other O'Briens with stories of their own liven the proceedings--including a couple who are celebrating a honeymoon deferred by illness and the 80-year-old family matriarch who returns to Ireland for what might be the very last time, only to rekindle a relationship with an old flame. The young lovers courting in preparation for a possible future together nicely complements the story of two old friends who reunite and think only about "the now." --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A multigenerational love story about a large, dynamic Irish-American family that sets off for Dublin, Ireland, at Christmastime.

Mira, $16.95, hardcover, 9780778312703

The Nine Lives of Christmas

by Sheila Roberts


Ambrose the cat is in the last of his nine lives, and he's looking for a comfy place to live out the remainder of his kitty years in The Nine Lives of Christmas--but he owes a debt to karma first.

Ambrose survived a dog attack and gets to have, hopefully, a long ninth life, thanks to Zach--a handsome firefighter who unwillingly takes in the feline to protect him from the winter cold. In exchange for Zach's good deed, Ambrose owes his new human a favor, which materializes in the possibility of a romance with pet enthusiast Merilee. But first Ambrose has to shred Zach's emotional baggage; will the clever kitty succeed before Christmas?

Sheila Roberts, the author of six previous novels, has a knack for writing about the Christmas season and all the pleasure and pain it can bring. She has an excellent sense of humor and is efficient with character development. Instead of unloading gobs of backstory, she slips in little personality traits and family histories that give her characters depth without bogging down the plot with unnecessary detail. Even Ambrose the cat has a life story--nine of them, to be exact!

The Nine Lives of Christmas is smart, cheerful and perfect fireside reading. It will get you in the mood for Christmas and in the mood for love. --Sara Dobie, blogger at Wordpress

Discover: Ambrose the cat must help his human fall in love or suffer bad kitty karma in this clever holiday romance.

St. Martin's Press, $14.99, hardcover, 9780312594497

Nonfiction

Commander in Chic: Every Woman's Guide to Managing Her Style Like a First Lady

by Mikki Taylor


Mikki Taylor hopes Michelle Obama's spirit and panache can inspire readers to find and embrace their own style, but she also assumes they're familiar with her own voice after 30 years of writing for Essence. Thus Commander in Chic is filled with Mikki-isms: "Color? Why, color was made for a sister.... We were meant to be seen. After all, the Creator dreamt us in color and scattered His chocolate sweets all over the world!" Such quips and tips will make readers unfamiliar with Taylor's previous work feel as if she has been a friend for years.

Photos of the first lady appear throughout Commander in Chic, along with links to her favorite designers; Taylor can analyze why a certain outfit works for Michelle Obama, then explain how readers can apply the principle behind that look to their own wardrobes. Commander in Chic is filled with helpful hints for efficient shopping, traveling in style or finding the perfect hairstyle, and though Taylor addresses what she assumes to be a largely African-American audience, women of all races will find her advice entertaining and useful. --Kristen Galles from Book Club Classics

Discover: A playful yet instructive look at how Michelle Obama inspires women to find their own personal style.

Atria Books, $26.99, hardcover, 9781439196724

Audio

The Buddha in the Attic

by Julie Otsuka, read by Samantha Quan and Carrington MacDuffie


Beginning with the statement, "On the boat we were mostly virgins," Julie Otsuka's The Buddha in the Attic imagines the voices of Japanese "picture brides" who emigrated to California in the early 1900s. The young women and girls (some only 14 years old) disembark to fiancés who might not resemble their photos and to non-wifely duties as cooks, housemaids, field hands and prostitutes. In the place of dramatic scenes, Otsuka uses an imagistic storytelling technique of spare, poetic details that describe the disposition of people and objects (viz the book's title). A thematic predecessor to Otsuka's earlier novel,When the Emperor Was Divine, that National Book Award finalist is also striking for its use of a multiple and continuous "we" narrative voice to blend dozens of lives into a chorus of experience.

The Buddha in the Attic's multiple narrative voice works well in audiobook form, and its short, episodic chapters can be stopped and started without losing the thread. Greek tragedy and the musical comedy have trained us to absorb the oral recitation of plural fates, and hearing it read aloud helps personify the collective and historical context of The Buddha in the Attic. Otsuka uses the first-person-plural to confide more directly to readers. Her repetitive use of the phrase "some of us" and her Hemingwayesque abrupt sentences fall easier on the ear than on the eye. Actress Samantha Quan's soft but assertive voice lends a poetic rhythm to the novel's sequential observations. Another boon of the audiobook is that the eighth chapter's harsh shift of perspective is accentuated by the switch to a less poetic voice. --Holloway McCandless, blogger at Litagogo: A Guide to Free Literary Podcasts

Discover: A fictional, imagistic oral history of Japanese "picture brides" from their Pacific crossing to young married lives to post-Pearl Harbor internment.

Random House Audio, $30, unabridged, 4 CDs, 4 hours, 9780307940735

Children's & Young Adult

A New Year's Reunion

by Yu Li-Qiong, illus. by Zhu Cheng-Liang


On the surface, this is a picture book about celebrating the Chinese New Year, but at its center, it is a story of homecoming. A girl--whose eyes can barely peer over her mother's dressing table--rises early with her mother. Papa is coming home today from his work far away, for the New Year's celebration. Author and artist, who both live in Ninjing, introduce the neighborhood, as Papa takes young Maomao with him to get a haircut. The next day, Papa takes his daughter up to the rooftop to watch a serpentine dragon cross a bridge, gleaming in the sunlight.

The artist creates large scenes as skillfully as more intimate close-ups. Maomao finds the "fortune coin" in her sticky rice ball, signifying good luck for the New Year. She builds a snowman with a friend in the courtyard. Just when Maomao thinks she's lost her fortune coin, she discovers it on her bedroom floor. But she finds an even better place for it: with Papa. "Next time you're back, we can bury it in the sticky rice ball again!" she says. "Daddy is very quiet. He nods and hugs me tight." The image of Maomao about to place the coin in his hand speaks volumes for the love they share. Gestural brushstrokes portray her head tilted downward, putting on a brave face, while Papa feels both pride at his daughter and sorrow at his parting. A love that will last the whole year through. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: A heartwarming story of homecoming, and about keeping a connection to home even when you're away from it.

Candlewick, $15.99, hardcover, 40p., ages 3-8, 9780763658816

Clockwork Prince: The Infernal Devices, Book Two

by Cassandra Clare


Fans of Clockwork Angel, the first book in Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy, will discover here an even darker and sexier trip through the gaslit streets of Victorian London. Tessa Gray, 16, whose power was unveiled in Clockwork Angel, has settled in with the Shadowhunters inside the London Institute. Benedict Lightwood covets the Institute for himself, and the plot centers on protecting Charlotte's guardianship over it--which can only be secured if Charlotte, Henry Branwell and the Clave can hunt down the Magister. However, the Magister manages to stay always one step ahead of Tessa and the other Shadowhunters.

Series fans' favorite characters often commit despicable acts, yet Cassandra Clare draws them with enough complexity that it's hard not to sympathize with them after learning their histories. And the love triangle between Tessa and Shadowhunters Will and Jem presents consequences beyond pure heartbreak: Tessa must place the brotherhood between Will and Jem ahead of her heart's calling. The author also injects some comic relief through characters such as warlock Magnus Bane, who leavens some scenes of heavy confessions and betrayals--which set the stage for the final installment, Clockwork Princess.

Clare delivers an edge-of-your-seat sequel, then leaves readers holding their breath one last time with an emotionally brutal final chapter and game-changing cliffhanger.  --Adam Silvera, a bookseller and intern at Figment

Discover: An edge-of-your seat sequel to Clockwork Angel, which sets the stage for Cassandra Clare's final installment.

Margaret K. McElderry/S&S, $19.99, hardcover, 528p., ages 14-up, 9781416975885

The Future of Us

by Carolyn Mackler, Jay Asher


In this perceptive, often humorous novel, Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why) and Carolyn Mackler (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things) tap into the obsession with the future that possesses high school juniors Emma and Josh.

On Sunday, May 19, 1996, Josh walks next door to give Emma a CD-ROM with 100 free hours of America Online. Somehow, with her download of AOL, she also receives Facebook--which hasn't been invented yet. In a funny scene, Josh and Emma try to make sense of it ("Why does it say she has three hundred and twenty friends? Who has that many friends?" asks Josh). They also quickly discover that they can see their futures, 15 years from now. At first they think it's a hoax, but then they realize that it's impossible for someone to alter their "walls" so frequently. Josh likes his future--at least initially--because he winds up with a beautiful and wealthy classmate. Emma, however, continues to find fault with hers.

Teens will recognize themselves in Josh and Emma's behavior--the enslavement to Facebook, status updates and wall postings. The solid foundation of the neighbors' lifelong friendship anchors the novel, and teens will savor knowing more than the narrators--from the ins and outs of Facebook to the chemistry they'll recognize between Emma and Josh. Their story serves as a cautionary tale, that to live for some perceived future goal sacrifices life in the present. --Jennifer M. Brown, children's editor, Shelf Awareness

Discover: A romantic comedy about the risk of sacrificing moments of happiness in the present by living for the future.

Razorbill, $18.99, hardcover, 368p., ages 12-up, 9781595144911


The Last Widow
(Will Trent #9)
by Karin Slaughter
isbn: 9780062858085
William Morrow
August 20, 2019


an exclusive interview with bestselling author Karin Slaughter  
 

When you finished writing THE KEPT WOMAN, you actually had the idea for THE LAST WIDOW—but you didn’t start writing it until a couple of years later. Why the hesitation?

“I had to give myself time to think about it. I wrote two books in between, and it was just my way of kind of wrapping my head around the subject matter. It took quite a bit of research to write this novel. I’m not one of these ‘ripped from the headlines’ kind of writers, so it was really difficult for me to decide whether or not this was the book to write because I thought, you know, this stuff is becoming very topical. Keep in mind I wrote it basically a year ago. I finally just decided, well, that’s not something I can think about. I just need to write the book that I want to write.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

ALSO FEATURED ON THE the big THRILL…

THE LAKE OF LEARNING by STEVE BERRY and M.J. ROSE: There’s always a bit of magic at play when two genre superstars come together. But in the case of international bestselling authors Steve Berry and M. J. Rose, the magic comes not always as a storytelling tool, but in the collaboration itself. Find out more here.

MIAMI MIDNIGHT by ALEX SEGURA: Since its debut in 2013 with Silent City, Alex Segura’s Pete Fernandez series has become one of modern noir’s most buzzed-about properties. The fifth—and final—entry, MIAMI MIDNIGHT is due out this month. Read more at The Big Thrill.

TRUE BELIEVER by JACK CARR: TRUE BELIEVER, the follow-up novel to Jack Carr’s award-nominated debut, Terminal List, begins with the protagonist, James Reece, at his lowest—he’s lost his family, his health, his county. Everything. How does he carry on? Find out more here.

PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND POISON by ELIZABETH BLAKE: Elizabeth Blake launches the reader straight into an encounter with a group of strong-minded characters that make up the local branch of the Jane Austen society—and that's where things get a bit chaotic. Visit The Big Thrill for more.

OLD BONES by DOUGLAS PRESTON and LINCOLN CHILD: In a curious mix, OLD BONES, the new novel from bestselling writing partners Preston and Child, combines the excitement of a treasure hunt adventure with the mystery, and almost police procedural, of a mind-boggling FBI case. Read more here.

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