Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, July 31, 2018
From My Shelf
The Writer's Life
Karen Brooks: Unlocking the Past to Understand the Present
|photo: Stephen Brooks|
Dealing with Book Snobs
Bustle suggested "11 tips for dealing with book snobs, because no one has time for judgmental people."
A business of ferrets, for example. Mental Floss listed "50 collective nouns for your favorite groups of animals."
From bedtime stories to bribes, the Guardian offered tips on "how to get your child reading more."
Signature corrected "5 grammar mistakes even the best writers make."
Headline of the day (via NDTV): "Britain Bans Export of Legendary Novelist Charles Dickens' Study Table."
Technology Museum of l'Empordà in Spain "houses an amazing collection of rare, antique typewriters,' Atlas Obscura noted.
Rediscover: Mary Oliver
As July slips to August, and midsummer fades to late, Mary Oliver's musings in "The Summer Day" spring to mind. As the poet ponders a grasshopper in her hand, wider wonders surface: "Who made the world? Who made the swan, and the black bear?" The grasshopper hops away, and its simple life subsumes the need for complex categorization: "I don't know exactly what a prayer is. I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down into the grass." At last, she reflects on the waning day spent in that field, in nature, and famously asks if it was time well spent: "Tell me, what else should I have done? Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon? Tell me, what is it you plan to do/ With your one wild and precious life?"
Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day" was published in New and Selected Poems (1992), which won the National Book Award for Poetry. She also won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry with American Primitive (1983). Oliver's many collections have made her, as described by the New York Times, "far and away, this country's best-selling poet." Her most recent books include Upstream: Selected Essays (Penguin Press) and Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver (Penguin Press, $30, 9780399563249), which highlights 200-plus poems from her 50-year career. --Tobias Mutter
Confessions of the Fox
by Jordy Rosenberg
Discover: Jordy Rosenberg reimagines the history of the legendary Jack Sheppard in an ambitious debut novel.
by Simone van der Vlugt, trans. by Jenny Watson
Discover: Seventeenth-century Netherlands is the setting for Midnight Blue, atmospheric historical fiction with elements of romance and mystery.
The Locksmith's Daughter
by Karen Brooks
Discover: In an intricate historical romance, a woman finds the right tools to forgive herself for her past while learning to accept the love she deserves.
The Pre-War House and Other Stories
by Alison Moore
Discover: Alison Moore's short story collection The Pre-War House explores the tragic moments in everyday lives.
Mystery & Thriller
The Corpse at the Crystal Palace
by Carola Dunn
Discover: Daisy Dalrymple Fletcher goes in search of a missing nanny and uncovers another mystery in her latest adventure.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
Trail of Lightning
by Rebecca Roanhorse
Discover: Monsters stalk Navajo lands, and Maggie Hoskie must slay them before they can do more harm.
Biography & Memoir
Life in the Garden
by Penelope Lively
Discover: English literary icon Penelope Lively offers a meditative celebration of the joys and rewards of gardening and the garden's protean, timeless beauty.
Essays & Criticism
Hummingbirds Between the Pages
by Chris Arthur
Discover: This lyrical and thought-provoking essay collection draws big questions about life and death out of small, everyday objects.
Health & Medicine
Cancerland: A Medical Memoir
by David Scadden, Michael D'Antonio
Discover: A thorough examination of the history and advancements made in treating cancer patients by a physician and researcher.
Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went from Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things
by Courtenay Hameister
Discover: A 40-something woman with generalized anxiety disorder spends a year trying unusual things that scare her in an effort to convince her brain to be less fearful.
Children's & Young Adult
Lovely, Dark, and Deep
by Justina Chen
Discover: A high school girl tries to piece her life back together when she develops an allergy to the sun and the outdoors becomes her personal war zone.
Grace and Fury
by Tracy Banghart
Discover: In a country where women have few options, Serina competes to become a revered Grace, but all her well-laid plans for the future crumble when her rebellious sister is chosen instead.