Shelf Awareness for Thursday, May 24, 2018


Neal Porter Books: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales

Counterpoint: Silicon States: The Power and Politics of Big Tech and What It Means for Our Future by Lucie Greene

Bloomsbury Publishing: Visit Bloomsbury at BookExpo & BookCon (Booth #2439)!

Oxmoor House: Martina's Kitchen Mix: My Recipe Playlist for Real Life by Martina McBride

Shadow Mountain: Women of the Blue and Gray: True Civil War Stories of Mothers, Medics, Soldiers, and Spies by Marianne Monson

News

Rob Dougherty Launches Campaign to Open Allentown, Pa., Bookstore

Clinton Bookshop's Rob Dougherty and Harvey Finkel

Rob Dougherty, New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association board member and manager of the Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, N.J., has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a new independent bookstore in downtown Allentown, Pa. He is seeking to raise $25,000 through the crowdfunding effort and hopes to open the roughly 1,000-square-foot, general-interest store in September.

Dougherty, who has lived a short walk away from downtown Allentown for years, said he already has his eye on a space along the city's art walk, which is a three-block stretch from the the art museum to the city center that's full of shops, eateries and art galleries. The location he has in mind has a "Starbucks within 50 paces," and a "fantastic" restaurant across the street. And even before he and his partner, Harvey Finkel, put the Clinton Book Shop up for sale in February, Dougherty added, he thought Allentown was a perfect spot for a bookstore.

"Downtown Allentown is thriving," he said. In recent years the city has seen an uptick in local businesses, restaurants and the arts, the creation of a new sports arena called the PPL Center, and a boom in high-end apartment buildings. "The resurgence of the city has been insane over the last three or four years."

Dougherty hopes to open his new Allentown store in this space.

Initially, Dougherty plans to sell all new, general-interest titles, and he added that because of the demographics of downtown Allentown, he'll likely stock significantly more adult books than children's titles. He said he's very excited about the possibility of running lunchtime events and generally plans to "utilize the contacts I've made over the last 15 years" to build the store's events program. As far as a children's section is concerned, he said he has talked to Kirsten Hess, owner of Let's Play Books, the children's bookstore in nearby Emmaus, Pa., about possibly running a Let's Play Books pop-up store within his new store, but the idea is "pretty fluid."

At the moment, the store has no name. Dougherty said he had thought of going with the "Allentown Book Shop," but chose instead to run a contest to decide both the store's name and its logo at the suggestion of a friend. With the contests, he hopes to "tap into the local arts community."

Donors to the crowdfunding campaign can receive things like gift credits to be used when the store opens, a free hardcover book, and various bookstore memberships, which include benefits such as 10%-20% off purchases, free books each month with a minimum purchase, priority seating at events and more.

In the months since Dougherty and Finkel put the Clinton Book Shop up for sale, a number of interested parties have emerged, with one group being "pretty far along in the process" but not yet at the point where bids have been accepted, he reported. He told Shelf Awareness that money raised through crowdfunding will go toward opening the Allentown store, with the balance "more than likely" coming from the sale of the Clinton Book Shop.

"I'm not done," said Dougherty. "I'm on the board of NAIBA, I want to stay involved with the board. I've met a lot of great people. And I don't want to go back to being a therapist." --Alex Mutter


School of Life: Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person: A Pessimist's Guide to Marriage, Offering Insight, Practical Advice, and Consolation by The School of Life, edited by Alain de Botton


Books Inc. Opening 12th Store, in Campbell, Calif.

Books Inc., which has 11 stores in the Bay Area, is opening another store, in Campbell, Calif., in Silicon Valley, this Saturday, at 10 a.m. The store is in the Pruneyard Center, owned by Ellis Partners, which also developed the Town & Country Center in Palo Alto next to Stanford University, where Books Inc. moved in 2008 from the Stanford Shopping Center.

The store is located at 1875 S. Bascom Ave., Suite 600, Campbell, Calif. 95008.

Books Inc., founded in 1851, is one of the oldest bookstores in the country.


AuthorBuzz for the Week of 05.21.18


B&N College to Run U. of Montana Bookstore, Fact & Fiction Out

"After racking up losses of nearly $1.8 million in four years," the Bookstore at the University of Montana is finalizing negotiations with Barnes & Noble College to operate the campus store, the Missoulian reported. A letter of intent signed by officials from the bookstore and B&N College "anticipates the parties will work in good faith to negotiate an agreement by the end of June." Bookstore COO Eamon Fahey said the nonprofit is slated to turn over keys on July 2, and an initial contract is expected to be in place for five years.

"I think ultimately, this is going to benefit everyone," Fahey said. "The Bookstore organization will end up in a better place financially. All of our employees have an opportunity to stay on employed."

Fact and Fiction bookstore, which is owned by the same nonprofit that runs the university bookstore, is also giving up its space in the campus store where it sold trade books not used for class, but will continue to operate its downtown location, NBC Montana reported. 

"Unfortunately, sales in that section [in the campus store] were also on the decline, so it has shrunk over the years, and we tried to--as I would say--right-size it. And nothing was really quite working until we had shrunk it down quite a bit before this transition was decided upon," said Mara Panich-Crouch, general manager at Fact and Fiction, which will be completely separate from the campus bookstore, yet still under the UM Bookstore Foundation.

Fact and Fiction is run as a for-profit, independent bookstore. "They consider it a community service, because we're a big part of the literary community and the reading community of Missoula," Panich-Crouch added.


Soho Teen: Zen and Gone by Emily France


National Book Foundation Expands Programming

The National Book Foundation is expanding its programming to include several series of author panels and book talks that will focus on "literature and its relationship to cultural issues and themes" and to serve a larger and more diverse population of readers. Called NBF Presents, the initiative will produce more than 30 programs in its first year and will partner with libraries, colleges, festivals, conferences, schools, and performance venues across the country. The new projects include Literature for Justice, Author in Focus and Notes from the Reading Life; at the same time, the Foundation will continue and expand existing programs like the National Book Awards on Campus series and partnerships with the Miami Book Fair, the Tucson Festival of Books and the Virginia Festival of the Book.

Funding for the expansion is anchored by a $900,000, three-year grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and $1.4 million in new grant funding, including additional support from the Art for Justice Fund, Velvet Film with the support of the Ford Foundation and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

With support of a three-year grant from the Art for Justice Fund, the Literature for Justice series will focus on the issue of mass incarceration in the U.S., including the promotion of five books a year on the subject, development of a reading list and the participation of authors on the subject.

The Author in Focus series will highlight James Baldwin and his work and be done in partnership with Velvet Film, the production company behind the 2017 film I Am Not Your Negro.

Notes from the Reading Life is a series of events presented by the Foundation and the New York Public Library in June at libraries throughout New York City that will feature an author and "non-literary celebrities, such as artists, actors, or comedians, who will discuss their connection to reading and identify books that they would like to recommend to neighborhood residents, copies of which will be made available to program attendees."

"With NBF Presents, the National Book Foundation is reimagining the service that is possible for a literary arts organization," Foundation chairman David Steinberger said. "We continue to strive toward a holistic approach to literary access and cultural participation, one that aims to leave no community and no reader overlooked."

"It's more important than ever for the country to be having thoughtful, inclusive, national conversations," said Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas. "By forging partnerships across many states and reinforcing the literary resources available in these communities, we hope to help inspire those dialogues that will deepen understanding and create connection between readers across the nation."


William Morrow & Company: Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough


Obituary Note: Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy, "an influential Irish playwright known for dark tales told with a rustic musicality," died May 15, the New York Times reported. He was 83. Murphy wrote dozens of plays across a half-century, including A Whistle in the Dark, Famine, Conversations on a Homecoming, Bailegangaire and The Gigli Concert.

Garry Hynes, artistic director of Druid Theater Company, which produced many of the plays, said Murphy ranks with Brian Friel as one of Ireland's greatest contemporary playwrights, "though he was not as well known internationally, partly because he ventured into more difficult emotional terrain," the Times wrote.

"Some of Brian's plays were easier, I think, for non-Irish audiences to access," Hynes said. "In Tom's case, he was unflinching in his rage about the way things were. He wrote with a very raw essence. He didn't spare himself or his characters."

"Tom was ever daring, pushing the boundaries of Irish theater and challenging us with disturbing images of Irish life," the Abbey Theater of Dublin, which staged 19 premieres of his works, said in a tribute on its website. 

In 2001, Murphy told the Times: "What gets me down gets me started. It's a brooding thing."

In a statement, Michael D. Higgins, president of Ireland, said, "The importance of Tom Murphy's contribution to Irish theatre is immeasurable and outstanding. We have had no greater use of language for the stage than in the body of work produced by Tom Murphy since his earliest work in the 1960s."


Notes

Cool Idea of the Day: #buyastrangerabook

Inspired by last year's launch of the Big Issue's Big Book Giveaway as well as the #WhyBooksMatter campaign, British bookseller Simon Key of London's Big Green Bookshop "is turning to Twitter to do the same by letting bookworms #buyastrangerbook every Wednesday."

The initiative encourages his Twitter followers "to either ask for a book which is then paid for by another follower or the opposite, pledging money which is then used to fund a purchase for someone else," the Big Issue wrote. Key sold 56 books the first time he tried it earlier this month and 75 the following week.

"The idea came about three weeks ago after I had a really bad day at work and I decided to tweet about it as I do at the end of the day sometimes and I put that I had a brilliant idea to reach £1,000 [about $1,355] in takings the next day," said Key, who is also a leading voice behind the recently launched Independent Bookshop Alliance.

"So I tweeted asking if someone wanted a book and I am going to buy it for you, he continued. "I thought it was really nice and a couple of people said you should do a buy a stranger a book day and see what happens. Someone else got in touch and offered to buy a book for someone else and escalated from there. It's a nice thing to do and people who can't afford to buy a book get the chance to have one bought from them and people who want to give a book can do that too--everyone's a winner really." Key broadened the scope this week by inviting his followers to #buyaschoolabook.

"People are really happy with it and obviously it makes a lot of sense for us from a business perspective because people are buying books through us," Key said. "It just shows how you can use Twitter properly. From a business point-of-view it's just something that people need to think about--thinking outside the box. We are grateful for Twitter and it is so simple to do--it's just about keeping an eye on it and replying to people and they like it too as it doesn't take a lot of effort or time."


IPG and Trafalgar Add Eight Publishers

At Independent Publishers Group and Trafalgar Square Publishing:

Effective June 1, IPG will distribute trade books published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose titles include longtime bestseller Heading Home With Your Newborn: From Birth to Reality and recent release Baby and Toddler Basics: Expert Answers to Parents' Top 150 Questions.

Effective May 1, IPG will distribute books from Omnibus Press, which specializes in music-related titles. Its major titles include Morrissey & Marr: The Severed Alliance, The Dark Story of Eminem and Catch a Fire: The Life of Bob Marley.

Trafalgar Square is distributing titles in the U.S. and Canada from three new publishers from the U.K.'s Pallas Athene Publishers:

Did You See the Crocodile?, created by Alice Instone, an English artist concerned with gender and power who is turning to books to spread her message.

Gelofer Press, whose Good Housewife series includes recipes taken from various styles of cooking from centuries past.

NW1 Books, whose first publication is The Real Rock Follies, a nonfiction story of three actresses taking on the British establishment and changing the law. Subsequent books will include fiction and nonfiction about other whistle-blowers, especially women.

Effective July 1, Trafalgar is distributing Aspen Books, a new imprint launched by Grange Communications, Edinburgh, Scotland, which will publish commercial reference, general knowledge and sports-related titles. Grange is the largest publisher of official Premier League soccer annuals, calendars and stationery products.

Effective July 1, Trafalgar is distributing RedDoor Publishing, which specializes in commercial fiction and nonfiction, particularly business books.

Effective July 1, Trafalgar is distributing Perronet Press, which publishes the Tales of Ramion YA fantasy series by Frank Hicks.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Philip Roth Remembered on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: the first part of a two-part retrospective devoted to the late Philip Roth, who appeared on the show several times.

Tomorrow:

The Real: Vivica A. Fox, author of Every Day I'm Hustling (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250134455).

The View repeat: Andrew Morton, author of Meghan: A Hollywood Princess (Grand Central, $27, 9781538747353).

Late Night with Seth Meyers repeat: Ronan Farrow, author of War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence (Norton, $27.95, 9780393652109).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert repeat: James Comey, author of A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron, $29.99, 9781250192455).


TV: Catch-22

Oscar-nominated Italian actor Giancarlo Giannini (Swept Away) has joined the cast of George Clooney's TV series Catch-22, "which is set to start shooting in Sardinia this week," Variety reported. Giannini will play Marcello, the owner of a Rome brothel who is "weathered and once handsome but still debonair," according to the producers.

The series, which marks Clooney's first regular TV role since NBC's ER, also stars Christopher Abbott as Capt. John Yossarian, Hugh Laurie as Major de Coverley and Kyle Chandler as Colonel Cathcart. Clooney has a small role as training commander Scheisskopf.

The six-part adaptation of Joseph Heller's anti-war classic novel is scheduled to air in 2019 on Hulu in the U.S. Variety noted that Giannini is "the only Italian talent announced so far in the Catch-22 cast, though about 300 Sardinian extras were recently recruited for scenes involving military activity on the Italian island, where Clooney--who is co-directing as well as starring and producing--has set up camp in a villa on its Emerald Coast."


This Weekend on Book TV: James R. Clapper

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Tuesday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Saturday, May 26
4:30 p.m. Robert Kurson, author of Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon (Random House, $28, 9780812988703).

5:45 p.m. Bruce Jentleson, author of The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship (Norton, $28.95, 9780393249569), at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh, N.C.

6:50 p.m. Steve Israel, author of Big Guns: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781501118029).

7:45 p.m. Elizabeth C. Economy, author of The Third Revolution: Xi Jinping and the New Chinese State (Oxford University Press, $27.95, 9780190866075). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 a.m.)

8:45 p.m. Ehud Barak, author of My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace (St. Martin's Press, $29.99, 9781250079367). (Re-airs Sunday at 1 p.m.)

10 p.m. James R. Clapper, author of Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence (Viking, $30, 9780525558644). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Jon Meacham, author of The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels (Random House, $30, 9780399589812). (Re-airs Sunday at 5 p.m.)

Sunday, May 27
12 a.m. Janet Dewart Bell, author of Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement (The New Press, $25.99, 9781620973356).

1:15 a.m. Cal Turner, Jr., co-author of My Father's Business: The Small-Town Values That Built Dollar General into a Billion-Dollar Company (Center Street, $28, 9781478992981). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

2:15 a.m. Ajay Agrawal, co-author of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard Business Review Press, $30, 9781633695672).

3:15 p.m. Leslie R. Crutchfield, author of How Change Happens: Why Some Social Movements Succeed While Others Don't (Wiley, $30, 9781119413813).

6:50 p.m. Tony Williams, author of Hamilton: An American Biography (Rowman & Littlefield, $19.95, 9781538100172).

10 p.m. Edith Sheffer, author of Asperger's Children: The Origins of Autism in Nazi Vienna (Norton, $27.95, 9780393609646).

11 p.m. Carlo Rovelli, author of The Order of Time (Riverhead, $20, 9780735216105), at Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.



Books & Authors

Awards: Orwell Shortlist; Ngaio Marsh Longlist

A shortlist of six books has been announced for the £3,000 (about $4,005) Orwell Book Prize, which recognizes work that comes closest to George Orwell's ambition "to make political writing into an art":

Winter by Ali Smith
What You Did Not Tell: A Russian Past and the Journey Home by Mark Mazower
The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason by Christopher de Bellaigue
Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of Our Gendered Minds by Cordelia Fine
Poverty Safari: Understanding the Anger of Britain's Underclass by Darren McGarvey
Lovers & Strangers: An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain by Clair Wills

---

The longlist has been announced for this year's Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel written by New Zealand citizens and residents, Booksellers NZ reported. The prize is judged by a panel of crime writing experts from New Zealand, Australia, the U.S. and the U.K. Finalists will be announced in July, along with the finalists for the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel. The winners will be named as part of a special event at the WORD Christchurch Festival, held August 29 to September 2. This year's longlisted titles for best novel are:

Marlborough Man by Alan Carter
Baby by Annaleese Jochems
See You in September by Charity Norman
The Lost Taonga by Edmund Bohan
The Easter Make Believers by Finn Bell
The Only Secret Left to Keep by Katherine Hayton
Tess by Kirsten Mcdougall
The Sound of Her Voice by Nathan Blackell
A Killer Harvest by Paul Cleave
The Hidden Room by Stella Duffy


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, May 29:

Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250161598) tracks the aftermath of a shopping mall shooting.

She Has Her Mother's Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity by Carl Zimmer (Dutton, $30, 9781101984598) explores the history of genetics and future bioethical considerations.

There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story by Pamela Druckerman (Penguin Press, $27, 9781594206375) is a memoir about turning 40.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (Gallery/Scout Press, $26.99, 9781501156212) follows a woman with cold-reading skills trying to claim an erroneously attributed inheritance.

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth (Arthur Levine/Scholastic, $18.99, 9781338143546) is about two teens who try to make their mark, both on the reservation and off.

Z Goes First: An Alphabet Story Z-A by Sean Lamb, illustrated by Mike Perry (Imprint, $17.99, 9781250123954) finds Z tired of being in last place and deciding she will be first.

Paperbacks:
Shadow Keeper (A Shadow Riders Novel) by Christine Feehan (Berkley, $7.99, 9780451490124).

Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath (Avon, $5.99, 9780062852311).

House of Spies (Gabriel Allon) by Daniel Silva (Harper, $9.99, 9780062354358).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Mr. Flood's Last Resort: A Novel by Jess Kidd (Atria Books, $26, 9781501180637). "Jess Kidd has done it again. I absolutely loved her first book, Himself, and her latest does not disappoint. This tale of Mr. Flood and his caregiver, Maud, brings together eccentric characters, ghosts, saints, a crumbling mansion, missing children, and a suspicious suicide. It perfectly balances tragedy with dark comedy; the dialogue crackles and every detail enchants. I will miss spending time in Maud's world." --Kathi Kirby, Powell's Books, Portland, Ore.

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (Crown, $26, 9780451495327). "The Girl Who Smiled Beads is a beautiful and heartbreaking look into the life of a woman who survived the genocide in Rwanda. I was so moved by Clemantine's story of her escape and time as a child refugee, and equally moved by her struggle to come to terms with her experiences after moving to the U.S. Looking at what happened through the story of someone who escaped as a child makes the horrors even more viscerally felt by the reader. I am humbled and grateful to have been able to read this important account." --Hillary Smith, Copperfield's Books, Sebastopol, Calif.

Paperback
The Marriage Pact: A Novel by Michelle Richmond (Bantam, $16, 9780553386363). "The world has gone wacko lately, and in the fictional world of The Marriage Pact a secret group forms that ostensibly seeks to protect the integrity of marriage. With guidelines to follow to keep the worst from happening, it isn't long before newlyweds Alice and Jake find themselves in trouble. One of them breaks a rule and the consequences are, well, scary. A thriller like no other, this book may make you take a second look at your neighbors and ask yourself: how far you would go to keep your marriage intact?" --Linda Bond, Auntie's Bookstore, Spokane, Wash.

For Ages 4 to 8
Moon by Alison Oliver (Clarion, $17.99, 9781328781604). "Max (of Where the Wild Things Are fame) would be BFFs with Moon from Oliver's new picture book, which is charming and imaginative, with glimpses of sly humor in the illustrations. Like Moon, we should all learn to take more time to be still, be wild, and be free." --BrocheAroe Fabian, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, N.C.

For Ages 9 to 12
Granted by John David Anderson (Walden Pond Press, $16.99, 9780062643865). "Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is no ordinary fairy--she is a Granter, one of the select few whose job it is to venture beyond the boundaries of the Haven and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day. No matter how prepared she believes she is, Ophelia doesn't expect the major adventures she encounters with humans. Readers learn about the importance of our wishes, as well as the difficulties fairies face in getting our wishes granted. Hopefully my wish for a second volume of adventures with Ophelia will come to pass. Highly recommended for all 'wishers' ages seven and up." --Candace Moreno, San Marino Toy & Book Shop, San Marino, Calif.

For Teen Readers
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Simon Pulse, $17.99, 9781481497343). "Centuries ago, the Swan sisters were drowned for witchcraft. Now, for a few weeks each year, they claim the bodies of three girls and use them to draw men into the harbor to drown. For those weeks, tourists flood the town and the locals dare each other to go near the water. They call it the Swan Season. The Wicked Deep is haunting, sad, and satisfying. The sisters' anger is so thoroughly understandable, it is easy to see how they would want to lure men into the harbor. This is the perfect book for Practical Magic fans or anyone looking for a crisp, immersive read." --Amy Brabenec, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, Mass.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore

Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush (Milkweed Editions, $26 hardcover, 320p., 9781571313676, June 12, 2018)

Journalist Elizabeth Rush's Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore is science, poetry and personal witness, concerned with human and more-than-human communities. It is a reckoning with the ugly reality of climate change, with numbers and predictions becoming grimmer each year. It is a poetic meditation on the nature of change, on how people can make peace with a changing world and our agency in it. And it is an impassioned consideration of the injustices humans perpetrate on one another, and on the non-human world.

Rush saw firsthand the reality of rising sea levels in inland Bangladesh, when a boy named Faharul showed her his dying mustard greens, their veins filling with salt. It took her years to follow that story to the U.S. communities she visited in researching and writing this book. In Rhode Island, Louisiana, Maine, Florida, New York, Oregon and California, Rush interviews local residents, observes local flora and fauna and questions scientists. She studies climate change and the rise of sea levels globally, but particularly in wetland ecosystems.

Rush's concerns begin with plants and animals: salt marsh harvest mouse, roseate spoonbill, Caspian tern, rufous hummingbird, red knot, black tupelo. But she quickly extrapolates them to tell a human story, too, about the people threatened alongside greater egret and cypress, and about her own struggle to navigate hope and action within despair. "I have a hard time separating excavation from elegy." The loss of islands on Louisiana's coast means the loss of Native communities there, and to understand that loss, one must recognize that those communities were formed by relocated tribes of Chitimacha, Biloxi, Choctaw and Acadian people pushed out of their original homes all over the continent. This is but one example of the vulnerable populations most at risk and least assisted by social supports.

Appealingly, Rush puts her research and writing to work alongside the perspectives of coastal residents: interwoven chapters are told in other voices. She makes allusions to the story of Noah and his ark, and to Leslie Jamison's The Empathy Exams, seeking the right reference point. Striking black-and-white photographs from Rush's travels add another gorgeous, elegiac layer to the narrative she helps to construct. Finally, an alliterative organizational structure stemming from wetland botanical structures makes this a book to be admired on many levels.

Rising is in some ways a difficult read. Its subjects are sobering and saddening, and survivors of flood events may be re-traumatized by some descriptions. The human-on-human crimes Rush documents include both discriminatory lending practices and sexual assault. These are important subjects to consider, regardless of the pain they may cause, but Rising has more to offer: pulsing, gleaming prose and a stubborn search for, if not hope, then peace in the face of disaster. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: This study of rising sea levels puts both science and poetry to work in honoring human and non-human coastal communities across the United States.


AuthorBuzz: William Morrow & Company: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
AuthorBuzz: Lyons Press: Harbor of Spies by Robin Lloyd
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