Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, August 3, 2018


Aladdin: Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts by Leah Tinari

From My Shelf

Flatiron Books: Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend

Summertime... and the Reading Is Easy

The lazy days of August are perfect for reading. Find a cool spot on a hammock or a hot spot on the beach and enjoy one of these summer-themed books.
 
Prodigal Summer (Harper Perennial, $16.99) by Barbara Kingsolver features three stories about a female park ranger, a young farmer's wife and an elderly man who are linked only by living in the same region of Virginia, though their stories gradually come together. Kingsolver's focus on nature and the ecosystems and economics of Appalachia make this novel immersive.
 
Providing a different perspective of the season, This One Summer (First Second. $18.99) by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki is a young adult graphic novel that won both the Printz and Caldecott Honors and appeals to adults, too. Two girls, Rose and Windy, on the cusp of adolescence, return every year to the same lake with their families. This tale of the girls' turning-point summer is told with emotional depth, an intricate plot and well-developed characters.
 
If you prefer historical fiction, The Summer Guest (HarperCollins, $15.99) by Alison Anderson is a novel that transports the reader to a different time and place: Ukraine in 1888, where Anton Chekhov and his family rent a guesthouse from another family. Moving back and forth between the present and the past (through diary entries), this beautifully written novel delves into the life of the author in a very personal way.
 
Nonfiction lovers can get their fix with One Summer: America, 1927 (Anchor, $17) by Bill Bryson, whose informative and entertaining books are legendary. This one takes a look at a single season in history. For each month of that summer, Bryson tackles a single subject, including Babe Ruth, Charles Lindbergh, Calvin Coolidge and more.
--Suzan L. Jackson, freelance writer and blogger at Book By Book

Holiday House: Tomie Depaola's the Popcorn Book (40th Anniversary Edition) / Very Rich by Polly Horvath / Kingdom of Ash and Briars (Nissera Chronicles #1) by Hannah West / Realm of Ruins (Nissera Chronicles #2) by Hannah West


Book Candy

Interesting Lives of Female Mystery Authors

Quirk Books investigated "female mystery authors who lived interesting lives themselves."

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Bustle shared "11 uplifting quotes from Anne of Green Gables that will help you get through the rest of 2018."

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"What it's like to stand inside a poem." Electric Lit explored "a digital storytelling experiment turns poetry into immersive art."

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"This guy turned his book collection into art and we are absolutely here for it," Buzzfeed reported.

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The remains of an ancient public library that may have housed up to 20,000 scrolls was uncovered in Cologne, Germany, the Guardian reported.


International Thriller Writers: Delacorte Press: Past Tense: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child


Great Reads

Rediscover: 2001

Fifty years ago, the world of science-fiction cinema reached dazzling new heights with Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Since the moment the monolith uplifted early man to an orchestral swell, then blasted off to the far-future via a bone toss, the genre has never been the same--with HAL's glowing menace and the trippy Star Child finale forever permeating pop culture. Though Kubrick directed and produced 2001, the screenplay was co-written with sci-fi superstar Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke and Kubrick also simultaneously wrote a novelized version of their story (though only Clarke's name appears as the author).

For those seeking more definitive answers to the film 2001's beautiful, intriguing, but sometimes opaque plot points, the novel version provides, and then some--2001 continues with a whole series of books: 2010: Odyssey Two, 2061: Odyssey Three and 3001: The Final Odyssey. Clarke's original behind-the-scenes look at this dual-media franchise, The Lost Worlds of 2001, is currently out of print. However, on April 3, 2018, Simon & Schuster published Michael Benson's Space Odyssey: Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece. In 2016, Penguin Classics republished 2001: A Space Odyssey as part of its Penguin Galaxy series of sci-fi masterworks, which includes a new introduction by Neil Gaiman ($25, 9780143111573). --Tobias Mutter


Pegasus Books: The Betrayal of Mary, Queen of Scots: Elizabeth I and Her Greatest Rival by Kate Williams


The Writer's Life

Michael Bennett, De-Masked

photo: Brad Puet
Super Bowl champion, three-time Pro Bowler and two-time NFC champion Michael Bennett and his wife, Pele Bennett, cofounded the Bennett Foundation for the education and support of underserved children and communities. The pair also wrote Three Little Monsters Have a Wild Day, a picture book about their three daughters. Michael Bennett's new book, Things That Make White People Uncomfortable (Haymarket Books, $24.95), written with Dave Zirin, is an unflinchingly personal look at current affairs, social justice and inequality.
 
What inspired your love of reading?
 
My mom was a teacher, so there were always books in the house and we always would read. A book is something that can take you into a whole different world--it could take you to the fourth dimension or the fifth dimension. It could take you to Neverland or Narnia or it could just take you to Brooklyn. A book is your own movie in your mind. You are attached to the author and sometimes you feel like the book is talking to you. And that's really how I started to love reading.
 
How do you find book recommendations?
 
People. Friends. Or I look online at stories, or on TV. It's just different books that I see and think, oh, I need to read that book. Mostly just word-of-mouth, or I just walk into the library and find a catchy title.
 
And now you've written Things That Make White People Uncomfortable. How is writing similar or different to playing football?
 
The things about football and writing a book that are similar is you have to be creative, you have to be timely, you have to be a little bit structured. Actually, the thing that's really different is that in football, you make your creativity through your movements, and writing a book, you use your creativity through your mind and put it down on paper. Some moves on a football field you can't redo, but what you write in a book is there forever.
 
Your book is also peppered with really great authors like Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. What are some of the books that particularly inspired you to write this book?
 
Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis; Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, obviously; and Brené Brown's work. So many great authors helped shape  my mind, like the Dalai Lama. A lot of authors will send me their books, too, and I get to meet a lot of great people because of the work we do.
 
You're very candid in the book about your admiration for your family and your distrust of the NFL. Was it intimidating to get so raw?
 
It was very intimidating, because you de-mask yourself and share the story of you doing all these different things. But, at the same time, you want to be able to be like that because you owe it to the children behind you to be confident, emotional and able to share yourself.
 
You say near the end of your book that feeling uncomfortable opens people up.
 
I think it does, or should. Being uncomfortable allows you to want to stop and say, "hey, it's time for us to grow as a community and grow as a people."
 
You write about athletes' tremendous untapped power to hold companies accountable. How did food education and STEM education, which you call twin issues, become key points for you?
 
When you think about food and the lack of access to food in different minority neighborhoods, it's evident that it is just so sad. We want to be able to talk about why certain diseases happen and what that means to a community. I focus on that because I think food is the gateway to culture. Food is the gateway to health. Food is the gateway to a lot of different things, and I think STEM is, too. With science and technology, you're able to get creative and create different things.
 
The African organization iamtheCODE, which aims to improve girls' access to science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics, entrepreneurship and design, is a program you got involved with to help close the gap of gender inequality. Having three daughters, this is probably on your mind a lot personally as well as socially. How do we help tackle this?
 
I think it takes a lot of everybody to start understanding certain issues that are happening in the world. And now being able to support women through technology and iamtheCODE is me recognizing the place I play in changing lives, the place we play as a community in uplifting women and giving them the same opportunities as men. Science is one of the things that helps change the world. I think you have to be able to have seats at the table. --Kristianne Huntsberger, writer, storyteller and partnership marketing manager at Shelf Awareness

Chronicle Books: The Art of Feminism: Images That Shaped the Fight for Equality, 1857-2017 by Lucinda Gosling, Hilary Robinson, and Amy Tobin, edited by Helena Reckitt


Book Review

Fiction

How to Be Famous

by Caitlin Moran


Caitlin Moran's fans will know narrator Johanna Morrigan from How to Build a Girl, in which she kissed goodbye to Wolverhampton, England, in pursuit of a London life as Dolly Wilde, music journalist. In How to Be Famous, she's now a 19-year-old success story: she writes fearless pieces with titles like "In Defense of Groupies" and lives an unsupervised life recalling "that of Pippi Longstocking, but with whiskey, and rock music."
 
The drugs and rock and roll are going really well; it's the sex that's not working out: when Johanna makes the mistake of sleeping with comedian Jerry Sharp, he films their exploits without her consent. Johanna wants to be famous--as her brink-of-acclaim musician friend Suzanne puts it, "Famous is the shortcut to power"--but not as the subject of a widely circulated sex tape.
 
Set in the mid-'90s heyday of Britpop, How to Be Famous is a #MeToo manifesto before the fact, full of hilariously righteous rage, not to mention pop music references and wonderfully incendiary theories, as when Johanna makes the argument that the Beatles succeeded "by tapping into the untouched cultural capital of humanity: girls." How to Be Famous would be a superb novel for a young adult readership unflapped by explicit sex and semi-rampant, low-consequence drinking and drugging. Given the novel's emphasis on libidos and vice, it's easy to miss what it really is: a toothy feminist romance, complete with a fantasy-figure love interest for Johanna in John Kite, a musician who sees only perfection in her non-trophy-wife proportions. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer

Discover: In Caitlin Moran's follow-up to How to Build a Girl, music journalist Johanna Morrigan is finally getting famous; unfortunately, it's for starring in a sex tape.

Harper, $26.99, hardcover, 352p., 9780062433770

Clarkson Potter Publishers: Skinnytaste One and Done: 140 No-Fuss Dinners for Your Instant Pot, Slow Cooker, Air Fryer, Sheet Pan, Skillet, Dutch Oven, and More by Gina Homolka with Heather K. Jones


Cat Flap

by Alan S. Cowell


In his novel Cat Flap, British journalist Alan S. Cowell presents a modern fable: Dolores Tremayne--wife, mother and a successful corporate executive of African British descent--wakes one day and discovers that part of her has migrated and metamorphosed into the body of the family's "finely bred, highly pedigreed" indoor cat.
 
The human Dolores sets off on a Lufthansa flight bound for a high-powered business meeting with a prestigious car company in Munich, Germany. Her feline self--her mind and soul, aka "X"--stays behind and gains a surprising glimpse into the daily life of her sexy, white husband, Gerald, a former drug dealer-user and stalled novelist. His first book had been "well-received, if not well sold or marketed" and a three-book commitment looms over him, along with his daily, demanding responsibilities as a house-husband to his and Dolores's two little girls.
 
One day, when Gerald exits the apartment, curious X slips out and follows him. She discovers that he is a serial philanderer juggling numerous shocking exploits. Being trapped in the body of a cat shutters all of Dolores's emotional human instincts and reactions. However, through some creative ingenuity, X and human Dolores join forces as avenging spirits.
 
Cowell (The Terminal Spy) has never shied away from exploring dark themes in his writing--those found in newspaper journalism, politics, war, risk taking and spying. Readers will eagerly suspend their disbelief, immersing themselves in Cowell's cleverly conceived, satirical novel that probes contemporary issues of race, identity and sexuality. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

Discover: A successful, British executive--a wife and mother--has her mind and soul metamorphosed into the family cat.

St. Martin's Press, $24.99, hardcover, 240p., 9781250146519

Morrow Cookbooks serves up great gifts - Click through for more info on our bestselling cookbooks


An Ocean of Minutes

by Thea Lim


In Thea Lim's An Ocean of Minutes, it's 1981 and a vicious flu pandemic has swept across the United States. With the advent of time travel, people are given the option of traveling to the future as migrant workers to pay for a loved one's treatment. When her boyfriend Frank gets sick, Polly agrees to go to 1993 and work in exchange for his cure. Though they planned to meet each other then and pick up where they left off, Frank is nowhere to be found. Polly realizes she has been rerouted to 1998 and is a slave to TimeRaiser, the company that hired her. Met with an unfamiliar and unforgiving landscape, Polly is determined to find Frank and build the future she'd imagined, rather than the one she's found.
 
Lim's mastery of plot, pacing and character shines in this high-concept novel. Striking a balance between the page-turning narrative and heartfelt, wistful insights, this novel depicts a future that reads more like an inspection of the contemporary moment than a fantastical assumption. Lim dives seamlessly through questions of race, gender, immigration and corporate monopoly, to surface with poignant discoveries about love, sacrifice, loss and ephemerality. Best of all, Lim's meditations on time illuminate the novel's shimmering and translucent surface to reveal fleetingly the depths and beauty of human emotion beneath. Polly's journey suggests both the beauty of and the inability to "stop right here, and stay in this very moment, for good." --Alice Martin, freelance writer and editor

Discover: A visionary literary dystopia, An Ocean of Minutes will appeal to fans of Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven and Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.

Touchstone, $26, hardcover, 320p., 9781501192555

Shelf Awareness Giveaway: Berkley Books: Someone to Trust by Mary Balogh


Mystery & Thriller

Snap

by Belinda Bauer


Belinda Bauer's Snap opens in August 1998, with three kids sitting in a sweltering, broken-down car, waiting for their mother to return from the call box up the road. After more than an hour, the children, ages two to 11, go searching on foot for her, finding only a phone with the receiver dangling by its cord.
 
Their nightmare continues three years later, when the children are living alone in their house, trying to avoid attracting neighbors' and social services' attention by keeping the lawn mowed and lying about their father. Jack, now just shy of 15, takes care of his siblings by stealing food and other necessities from nearby homes. In one, he makes a chilling discovery that indicates the owner might know what happened to Jack's mother.
 
Bauer once again delivers a fast-paced, suspenseful, and heartbreaking story laced with extra-dry humor and well-defined characters. Detective Chief Inspector John Marvel returns from The Shut Eye with his grump and thirst for a good murder case intact, though he's been exiled from the Met in London and sent to Somerset to investigate burglaries. Jack and his sisters, Joy and Merry--ironic names--are complex in ways one would expect of traumatized children. Bauer does not tug at readers' heartstrings; she simply shows how harsh life can be for the most vulnerable and youngest among us. The detectives can be a bit slow to pick up on clues, but thriller fans should snap up this one. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

Discover: Three children search for the truth about what happened to their mother after she disappeared three years earlier.

Atlantic Monthly Press, $26, hardcover, 352p., 9780802127747

Her Pretty Face

by Robyn Harding


Robyn Harding (The Party) tackles the contrasting issues of women's friendship and violent criminals in Her Pretty Face.
 
Stay-at-home mom Frances is insecure and lonely. She struggles to do what's best for her special-needs son while being closed out by the snobby, seemingly perfect moms at his new private school--especially after an incident involving her son rocks the small community. The only thing that makes Forrester Academy tolerable is her new friend, Kate. Gorgeous, thin and wealthy, Kate nonetheless seems truly to like Frances, and the two women bond over wine, their sons' friendship and a shared sarcastic wit. The women and their families gradually grow closer, but one of the friends is hiding a terrible secret: she's a murderer who changed her name years ago.
 
Harding takes readers on a ride through deceit in the midst of friendship. While some of this novel's secrets will probably be guessed early on and are revealed by the halfway point, the story is more focused on why rather than who. This domestic drama about women's friendship moves between the past and the present while exploring intriguing questions. Can a person really change? Once someone has paid for a heinous crime, should she be forgiven and allowed to live a normal life? The stakes are high as the facts emerge in this tense and thoughtful novel. --Suzan L. Jackson, freelance writer and author of Book By Book blog

Discover: Two moms become best friends, but one of them is hiding a secret, violent past.

Scout Press/Gallery, $26, hardcover, 352p., 9781501174247

Romance

How to Keep a Secret

by Sarah Morgan


For How to Keep a Secret, Sarah Morgan (Miracle on 5th Avenue) shifts a bit from contemporary romance into fresh women's fiction sure to be appreciated by fans of Nancy Thayer or Elin Hilderbrand.
 
Lauren has a perfect life in London, until her 16-year-old daughter, Mack, turns overnight into a stereotypically bitter and sullen teenager. Lauren's younger sister, Jenna, who still lives on Martha's Vineyard, is desperate to get pregnant, but it's just not working, and she's worried that her husband isn't on board with her deep desire for parenthood. Meanwhile, Lauren and Jenna's mother, Nancy, knows she wasn't the best parent, but she'll never be able to tell the girls why, which has created a gulf between them. Moreover, she's a well-known artist, but has abruptly quit painting.
 
Now dramatic circumstances bring all four women together in "The Captain's House"--the Martha's Vineyard home that has held their family for generations. Nancy and her daughters tentatively begin to explore the secrets they've hidden from each other. Lauren and Mack, too, work on their relationship, starting an emotional but life-changing summer for everyone as they discover the hidden depths in each other.
 
Sarah Morgan does an excellent job of creating strong, nuanced women who want to love each other, in spite of the barriers between them. Their spilling secrets pour a charming spell over this heartwarming and summery beach read. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

Discover: Three generations of women explore the secrets they've been hiding from each other as they spend a summer together on Martha's Vineyard.

HQN, $15.99, paperback, 432p., 9781335613004

Graphic Books

The Ghost Script

by Jules Feiffer


Jules Feiffer's graphic novel trilogy began with Kill My Mother and Cousin Joseph, hardboiled noir in the vein of Dashiell Hammett and Will Eisner. The concluding book, The Ghost Script, takes a decidedly political turn, evoking McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklist.
 
Ten years after the events of Kill My Mother, Feiffer's characters have moved on from their collective tragedies. Annie Hannigan, a successful Hollywood screenwriter and director, is rumored to possess a "ghost script" that threatens to expose the blacklist conspiracy. Annie's son Sammy has grown into an angry teenager harboring anti-communist sentiment against his family. Elsie is a radio gossip columnist who plots with her lover, Patty, to seek vengeance against the mysterious Cousin Joseph, her husband's murderer.
 
Meanwhile, Hollywood executives and investigators from the House Un-American Activities Committee hire hapless private eye Archie Goldman, Annie's lover, to retrieve the script. Archie is pursued and beaten up by union busters and liberals, who suspect him of ulterior motives. As Archie's investigation closes in on his immediate circle and the secret identity of Cousin Joseph, things take a malevolent turn and threaten to destroy the lives of the women around him.
 
Feiffer integrates many of the underlying themes of McCarthyism: the demands for absolute loyalty in exchange for continued employment and favors, anti-Semitism and the seedy layers of racism. His art has evolved with the progression of the series, and individual monologues ground a plot that tends to meander in confusing directions.
 
Feiffer displays his unapologetically sharp wit in a story that shows that starry-eyed dreams are often doomed to the failed lessons of American history. --Nancy Powell, freelance writer and technical consultant

Discover: The conclusion to Jules Feiffer's hardboiled trilogy is a political thriller about McCarthyism and the Hollywood Blacklist.

Liveright, $26.95, hardcover, 160p., 9781631493133

Biography & Memoir

It Happened Like This: A Life in Alaska

by Adrienne Lindholm


Adrienne Lindholm has always had a taste for wild places: open spaces, unmarked territory, "the feeling of something about to happen." After college, she moved to Alaska to try her luck as a backcountry park ranger. Nearly two decades later, her roots go deep into the Alaskan tundra, where she has built a career and a life on the edge of the wilderness. Lindholm chronicles her experience in a frank, luminous memoir, It Happened Like This.
 
As a greenhorn park ranger, Lindholm was unprepared for the rigors of backcountry life. She learned quickly from her fellow rangers and other new friends, many of them fellow transplants who had chased their own wanderlust to Alaska. Featuring many vivid characters (both human and animal), Lindholm's book traces her journey through a new career in an unpredictable, captivating environment. She also tells the story of meeting the man she grew to love, and her own wrestling with questions of marriage, motherhood, home under the vast northern sky. She delves into environmental issues: water and land use, the tension between preserving unspoiled wild places and providing for human enjoyment of them. The book's focus shifts midway through to Lindholm's deep ambivalence about motherhood, but she never loses sight of the awe and wonder that pulled her toward Alaska in the first place.
 
With lively anecdotes and clear, lyrical prose, Lindholm draws readers into a place "where challenge and mystery slip in beside me, take hold of my wrist, and guide me toward the edge." --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Adrienne Lindholm's luminous memoir chronicles the wonder and wildness of her two decades living in Alaska.

Mountaineers Books, $16.95, paperback, 208p., 9781680511345

Out of Step

by Anthony Moll


When Anthony Moll joined the army at 18, he was a queer leftist punk with pink hair. In the months after September 11 he, like many who enlisted, was struck by a feeling of patriotism and duty, but mostly he saw military service as the only way out of his life of poverty in Reno, Nev. He served for eight years during the Don't Ask, Don't Tell era  and, amid a culture of hypermasculinity, anti-gay bias and homophobic slurs, he attempted the delicate balance of being true to his identity without damaging his career or risking violence. Once he left the service, he began the confusing work of reentering society with a background much different than his peers.
 
A slim memoir told in essay-like chapters, Out of Step is the story of a young man trying to find his place in the disparate worlds of American military and civilian life. He admits to his naïveté as a new soldier, ignorant of the work he signed up for or the "gray ethics" of the U.S. foreign policy it represented, and he shows how his perspective changed over time. "Here I am an expert marksman who is happy that he has never gone to war, a rising military leader who stopped believing in the U.S. military's role in the world," he writes of his last years in the service. "Here I have stopped believing in the narrative that has been offered to me for the last seven years, and I have yet to fully uncover who exactly I will become once I finally take off my uniform and put it away for the last time." Moll's take is thoughtful and fair, both critical of the military while recognizing how it built him. --Katy Hershberger, freelance writer and publicist

Discover: A thoughtful memoir about the complicated experience of being queer in the U.S. Army.

Mad Creek /Ohio State Univ. Press, $18.95, paperback, 116p., 9780814254820

Poetry

New Poets of Native Nations

by Heid E. Erdrich, editor


Each poetic voice in the marvelous and much needed new anthology New Poets of Native Nations is original and distinct. The volume is edited by Heid E. Erdrich, an Ojibwe author of several poetry collections; in an enlightening introduction, she writes of the 21 poets in the anthology, "Not one of them identifies as 'Native American' alone." This is the double duty the anthology performs, and brilliantly so: representing several Indian nations--including southwest, Midwest, Alaskan and Pacific Islander peoples--while emphasizing the common humanity and greater Americanness of the work.
 
There are familiar names here, such as Tommy Pico, Natalie Diaz and Layli Long Soldier, and poets lesser known in the white literary establishment, like dg nanouk okpik, Craig Santos Perez and Brandy Nālani McDougall. All the selections offer vivid imagery and powerful poetic voice, driven by social and environmental justice concerns as well as abiding love for language itself. Several poems mix Native vocabulary with English, emphasizing the way translation both opens new semantic space but poses existential challenges. That many Native languages are disappearing--a common theme throughout--makes the work even more urgent.
 
Collectively, the poems speak to what Pico, in "Nature Poem," calls "fodder for the noble savage," that is, the stereotypes and expectations of white audiences. Gwen Nell Westerman expresses this struggle differently in "Theory Doesn't Live Here": "They didn't need theory/ to explain where they came from," the poet, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, writes of her grandparents. "They lived it."
 
New Poets of Native Nations showcases complex and talented individuals crafting American poetry at its best. --Scott Neuffer, writer, poet, editor of trampset

Discover: This wisely edited collection of Native poets helps redefine the canon of American poetry.

Graywolf Press, $18, paperback, 304p., 9781555978099

Children's & Young Adult

A Case for Buffy

by Ulf Nilsson, illus. by Gitte Spee


Detective Buffy is a young mouse police officer under the tutelage of Detective Gordon, "the famous criminal detective, the terror of all villains," who also happens to be a very old toad. Life is busy and productive in the "sweet little police station" in the woods, with Buffy rubber-stamping ("kla-dunk") solved cases of litterbugs and missing scarves, and Gordon dozing in a cozy bed in the renovated prison.
 
Then two tiny kindergartners--another mouse and toad pair--show up for "small police school," and in the ruckus of the young ones learning how to salute and spy, Buffy suddenly remembers the mother she lost when she herself was young. Distraught at not being able to remember what happened to her mother, she takes Gordon's advice: "Why don't you start by writing small poems about your mother, so the memories come back. That's what a real police officer does."
 
Sure enough, the memories flood back in several free-form poems, including this clincher: "Sharp claws--Fox!/ Running here and there./ Waterfall, fir trees.../ Running all day/ Over snow, over mountains./ Everyone's gone!" The stage is set for Buffy and Gordon's most important police investigation yet: "find a mother!"
 
Following The First Case, A Complicated Case and A Case in Any Case, this stand-alone fourth book in the Detective Gordon series by Swedish author Ulf Nilsson and Dutch illustrator Gitte Spee is whimsical perfection. Spee's soft, colorful pictures are reminiscent of William Steig's classic illustrations. Readers who have graduated from early chapter books like Arnold Lobel's Frog and Toad series will adore A Case for Buffy, with its gentle adventures, droll humor and delicious cakes at every turn. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

Discover: Swedish author Ulf Nilsson's Detective Gordon series delivers old-fashioned adventure with warmth and humor as the detectives take their most important case yet: finding Buffy's mother.

Gecko Press, $16.99, hardcover, 108p., ages 6-10, 9781776571789

Fawkes

by Nadine Brandes


In a highly stratified, fantastical British society, citizens, through blood inheritance passed from mother to daughter and father to son, are able to manipulate and use colors, and thus any objects or elements of that color. Special training is needed to hone these skills, and Thomas Fawkes, the son of "[t]he great Guy Fawkes. The mighty soldier," is about to complete his education. In order to graduate officially, Thomas needs his father to give him a handmade mask that binds Thomas to one specific color and that shows his color to society. But Guy is at the center of a war.
 
On one side are the Keepers, who believe people should control only one color. On the other are the Igniters, who believe everyone should control all colors, especially White ("the color through which all other colors come"), thus giving practitioners control over all colors. Each side blames the other for causing a plague that is sweeping through Britain, slowly turning people to stone. And Guy, a Keeper, is plotting to kill King James, an Igniter. Thomas, in need of his mask and a victim of the plague himself, tracks down Guy, hoping to find help before he turns completely to stone. Working closely with his father at the head of the anarchist Keepers, Thomas is installed into the community; all the while, the White Light calls to him and a romance between him and a mysterious young Igniter kindles. Do Thomas's loyalties lie with his father, a man he barely knows? Or to the potentially more dangerous world of Igniters?
 
Historical facts, along with captivating characters and quick dialogue, make for an extremely enjoyable novel. A great read for fans of The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue, Fawkes brings new life to the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. --Clarissa Hadge, assistant bookstore manager, Trident Booksellers & Cafe, Boston, Mass.

Discover: In this fantastical spin on the Gunpowder Plot of 1605, Thomas Fawkes is tested when he joins his father, Guy Fawkes, in a conspiracy to kill the King of England.

Thomas Nelson, $16.99, hardcover, 448p., ages 13-up, 9780785217145

Past Tense
by Lee Child
ISBN: 9780399593512
Delacorte Press
November 5, 2018


an exclusive interview with bestselling author Lee Child   
 

A successful career as a novelist was not something you dreamed of. How did you go from working at a television production company to becoming the author of one of the best-selling series in the thriller genre?

“I had a job that was a lot of fun and satisfying. It gave me plenty of time off for my family, for reading, and for hobbies. But then I was fired. What was I going to do next? It was a simple equation: I loved reading. I’ve read tens of thousands of books. So, why not try writing one? I was out of work and broke. Desperation is a huge factor. It makes you take it one hundred and twenty percent seriously. The goal is to make a living; to put food on the table. If that’s foremost in your mind, you don’t get all cross about editors or this and that. You just do it to get paid. It makes you ruthless with yourself.”

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

ALSO FEATURED ON THE the big THRILL…

SHELL GAME by SARA PARETSKY: V.I. Warshawski is back in a dazzling new thriller called SHELL GAME, the 19th in Sara Paretsky’s bestselling series about her renowned Chicago private investigator. And even though Victoria Iphigenia (Vic) Warshawski’s been around a while, she’s still tough as ever as she battles ISIS, ICE, the Russian mob, archeology looters, and more. Read more at The Big Thrill.

RECORD SCRATCH by J.J HENSLEY: It’s a case Trevor Galloway doesn’t want. However, when his client closes the meeting by putting a gun under her chin and pulling the trigger, obligation drags Galloway down a dark path. Award-winning author J.J. Hensley brings us the riveting second installment in his Trevor Galloway series. Find out more here.

THE COLOR OF LIES by C.J. LYONS: New York Times bestselling author C.J. Lyons explores the dark side of young adult literature with a story about a young girl with synesthesia—a kind of sensory criss-crossing that, in the case of high school senior Ella Cleary, gives her the ability to see people’s emotions via colorful auras. Learn more at The Big Thrill.

MANUSCRIPT FOR MURDER by JESSICA FLETCHER AND JON LAND: Jessica Fletcher has had plenty to worry about over her storied career, both as a bestselling novelist and amateur sleuth. But she’s never had any reason to worry about her longtime publisher and trusted friend, Lane Barfield—until now. Jon Land on the next book in the Murder, She Wrote series, MANUSCRIPT FOR MURDER. Visit The Big Thrill for more. 

WE, THE JURY by ROBERT ROTSTEIN: Robert Rotstein is back with his latest legal thriller. Hailed as a must-read by New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry, WE, THE JURY is a riveting tale told from the perspective of individual jurors involved in a horrifying murder trial involving alleged domestic violence. Read more here.

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