Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Avery Publishing Group: The Hacking of the American Mind: The Science Behind the Corporate Takeover of Our Bodies and Brains by Robert H. Lustig

From My Shelf

Lion Forge: Little Pierrot Vol 1: Get the Moon by Alberto Varanda

Charlesbridge Teen: Blood and Ink by Stephen Davis

The Magic Number Three: V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic Trilogy

Successful trilogies are tricky. And fantasy trilogies? Even more so. Requirements include a robust world with just the right amount of imaginative detail to urge the reader on rather than too much, which leads to retreat. Living, breathing characters who beg to be explored. And a plot that doesn't sag in the middle or disappoint in the end. A tall order, to be sure. And V.E. Schwab, author of the Shades of Magic series, delivers with skillful, epic ease.

Four alternate Londons (Red, Black, Grey, and White) exist in A Darker Shade of Magic (now in paperback from Tor). Kell, one of the last Travelers--magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes--encounters accomplished thief Delilah Bard, whose desire to leave Grey London is as dire as Kell's need to escape the consequences of his smuggling side-job. Adventure beckons, and Schwab's smart, exhilarating story doesn't let go until the very end. And, not even then.

Set four months later, A Gathering of Shadows (Tor paperback) finds Kell learning to live magically bound to another, Delilah unleashing her talent for magic, and an international magical competition taking place. The nuanced world-building and agile characterization begun in book one continue here, proving an addictive concoction when paired with the innovative adventure.

The final book in the series, A Conjuring of Light (coming next month in hardcover from Tor) picks up mere minutes after the ending of book two, when the tenuous tie among the four Londons has reached a breaking point. Kell and Delilah are called upon to save the magic that's shaped their very lives. And while heeding the call comes naturally, the real question is, will they be able (and willing) to answer? Readers may wish for the quintessential happy ending. But Schwab writes the conclusion that each character needs--one that rings true while simultaneously breaking and mending your heart. --Stefanie Hargreaves, editor, Shelf Awareness for Readers


Picador USA: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande


Book Candy

Cats in Medieval Manuscripts

Quirk Books showcased "cats in medieval manuscripts (or charming jerks and the devil incarnate)."

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"Oxford Dictionaries has added 'clicktivism' and 'haterade' as new words for angry times," the Guardian reported.

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"The hardest A Series of Unfortunate Events quiz you'll ever take" was posed by Buzzfeed.

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"Take a literary vacation with Rail Europe," Mental Floss suggested, adding: "Go ahead and plan your next vacation around your favorite book."

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"The rainbow bookshelf of your dreams is easier to DIY than you think," Bustle promised.


Quirk Books: Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of '70s and '80s Horror Fiction by Grady Hendrix


Great Reads

Rediscover: Hidden Figures

Although Hidden Figures, about the female African American mathematicians who worked for NASA in the 1960s, failed to land any Oscars on Sunday (it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer), the film's surviving subject, Katherine Johnson (age 98), was honored on stage with a standing ovation. Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Janelle Monáe) were human computers who performed mathematical calculations prior to the widespread availability of electronic computers. Their long-unrecognized work, conducted under the shadow of period prejudices, helped propel astronaut John Glenn into orbit and the United States to victory in the space race.

Hidden Figures is based on Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly, who sold the film rights before the book was published by William Morrow in 2016. Shetterly's book has a broader scope than the film, following four African American women (including Christine Darden, who does not appear in the movie) through World War II, the space race and the civil rights era. Hidden Figures unearths an important chapter in social and aerospace history. A paperback movie tie-in version was published in December 2016 ($15.99, 9780062363602). --Tobias Mutter


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Now in Paperback: February

NONFICTION

In a Different Key: The Story of Autism by Caren Zucker and John Donvan (Broadway, $18)
In 1938, Dr. Leo Kanner, a preeminent child psychiatrist, examined a boy named Donald Triplett. Donald was detached emotionally and didn't show signs of self-sufficiency or ability to recognize danger. It would be four years after first seeing Donald before Dr. Kanner coined a term for this collection of irregular behaviors; at that point Donald Triplett became the first person ever diagnosed with autism.

The Firebrand and the First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott (Vintage, $17)
This is the first book written about the friendship between the brilliant African American activist, writer, lawyer and priest Pauli Murray and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Through sharing their perspectives on subjects including integration, labor, war, legal cases and political campaigns, they expanded their worldviews and fueled their passions for revolutionary social change.

In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri (Vintage, $16)
In works like her Pulitzer Prize-winning story collection, Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri has distinguished herself as much for her exquisite prose as for her storytelling skill. Her fascination with the beauty of language now has produced In Other Words, an equally affecting account, written in Italian, of her effort to master that language.

Native: Dispatches from an Israeli-Palestinian Life by Sayed Kashua (Grove, $16)
Arab Israeli writer Sayed Kashua comments on life, culture and politics in a collection of essays written for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz between 2006 and 2014. Kashua's work is a rare window into the effects of Israel's political climate on the lives of its residents.

Master of Ceremonies by Joel Grey (Flatiron, $16.99)
Tony and Academy Award-winning actor Joel Grey was 82 when he made international headlines in 2015 by announcing he was gay. A year later, his memoir Master of Ceremonies takes readers on a compelling and painfully candid journey through the highs and lows of his career and personal life. What makes Grey's journey of self-discovery so ceaselessly fascinating is his willingness to delve into his contradictions.

And Then All Hell Broke Loose: Two Decades in the Middle Eastby Richard Engel (Simon & Schuster, $16)
When it became clear that the U.S. would invade Iraq in 2003, journalist Richard Engel strapped $20,000 to his leg and drove into Baghdad with a fraudulent visa and no concrete employment contract. He rode out the invasion in one piece as an ABC correspondent, but the following catastrophic years of the insurgency nearly killed him more than once.

FICTION

The Travelers by Chris Pavone (Broadway, $16)
In this sharp, fun thriller, a travel writer learns his magazine isn't what he thought when he's pressed into espionage service. Making subtle commentary in the midst of a beautifully executed plot and without sacrificing pace, Chris Pavone constantly misdirects readers' suspicions until the bloody, adrenaline-soaked conclusion.

The Widow by Fiona Barton (Berkley, $16)
Jean Taylor has just lost her husband to a terrible bus accident. Reporters want to hear her story, but Jean knows she cannot tell them the truth. To her surprise, the police claim that Glen has been downloading child pornography in their home--and they believe he's responsible for the disappearance of two-year-old Bella Elliott, though they can't quite prove it. Yet.

Ways to Disappear by Idra Novey (Back Bay, $15.99)
When a famous Brazilian novelist goes missing, everyone close to her is wrapped up in the mystery. Novey writes with tremendous insight and a wistful appreciation for the elusive nature of language. But that is not to say that the novel is dry and academic--quite the opposite! With lean, incisive prose, Novey delivers a bright, unpredictable mystery that is both playful and vulnerable.

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin (Flatiron, $14.99)
In The Forgetting Time, first-time novelist Sharon Guskin looks at choices, regret and second chances in the powerful story of a little boy who remembers life as someone else and the adults who struggle to help him find peace. Whether or not the reader believes in life after death, Guskin offers an intimate and suspenseful portrait of a family in crisis.

Ginny Gall by Charlie Smith (Harper Perennial, $15.99)
An African American teenager faces brutal racism in the Depression-era South when he's accused of raping white women. "We all been scared. We been scared to death over here for the last three hundred years. All day every day," Delvin Walker thinks. Novelist and poet Charlie Smith finds inspiration in the Scottsboro Boys cases as he depicts the volatile struggles of Southern blacks during the Depression. 


Counterpoint: Gangster Nation by Tod Goldberg


Book Review

Fiction

Norse Mythology

by Neil Gaiman


"Do you wonder where poetry comes from," asks the narrator in the middle of Norse Mythology. "Where we get the songs we sing and the tales we tell...? It is a long story, and it does no credit to anyone: there is murder in it, and trickery, lies and foolishness, seduction and pursuit." Then, because the story predates the written word, a simple command: "Listen."

For newcomers and old fans, here are the classic stories of Odin, Thor and Loki, of Asgard and Midgard, of frost giants and dwarves, and of the greatest battle ever foretold, Ragnarök, recounted with clarity and utter glee.

Gaiman (The View from the Cheap Seats, Fortunately the Milk, The Ocean at the End of the Lane) is no stranger to myth. Since his Sandman comics, he has drawn from the world's folklore and fables to create his own brand of fantastic fiction. An unabashed storyteller, he re-creates the stories of Odin, Thor, Loki and their ilk into a linear, novelistic sequence in Norse Mythology. Or as sequential as they can be, given that gods have a habit of springing back to life even after they are gruesomely killed.

If the prose of Gaiman's earlier novels at times veers inconsistently between the dark and the silly, between workmanlike and ornate, here he perfects the balance. The voice is anchored by ancient oral texts, which in turn offer large enough gaps in detail for Gaiman to fill in with scene-work and his trademark wit. --Zak Nelson, writer and bookseller

Discover: Neil Gaiman's accessible, gleefully violent compendium of Norse myths features Odin, Thor and, most jubilantly, Loki the trickster.

W.W. Norton, $25.95, hardcover, 304p., 9780393609097

Shelf Awareness Sign-up Giveaway: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover


Amiable with Big Teeth: A Newly Discovered Novel

by Claude McKay


Claude McKay (Home to Harlem) was one of the most significant Harlem Renaissance writers, and the first African American to have a bestselling novel in the U.S. He completed his ambitious satirical novel Amiable with Big Teeth: A Novel of the Love Affair Between the Communists and the Poor Black Sheep of Harlem under contract in 1941, but it was rejected and somehow vanished into the files of an independent publisher. It was rediscovered in 2012, and this is its first publication.

McKay drew heavily on his personal knowledge of the celebrities, artists and political figures of his time to create vivid characters with international connections and warring interests. Many of his themes and concerns are still all too relevant. He illustrates the problems of competing ideologies, style over substance, self-serving egos and ignorant good intentions. His complex and flamboyantly dramatic plot centers on the efforts of Harlem black nationalist intellectuals to rally support for Ethiopia after its invasion by Italy, and the attempt by Communists to hijack that movement. "What for? Not for our interest but for their interest.... When we resist them they try to put us on the spot, saying we believe in segregation. They use their superior white position to promote a lie against our vital interests and whitewash it to make it appear like truth." This is a rich, intimate, bitterly funny portrait of 1930s Harlem, the nightlife and street life, the social and political intrigue. --Sara Catterall

Discover: Lost for more than 70 years, this ambitious satire by a great early-20th century author is bitterly funny and relevant.

Penguin Classics, $28, hardcover, 352p., 9780143107316

The Burning World

by Isaac Marion


Isaac Marion's rom-zom-com Warm Bodies won fame and acclaim with a successful film adaptation in 2013, leading Marion to expand his post-zombie-apocalyptic world in the prequel A New Hunger. In this long-awaited sequel, revived zombie R and his living girlfriend, Julie, face an increasingly complicated future.

Although the lovebirds have settled into a house in the ruined suburbs of the Pacific Northwest, Julie and R attend a meeting at the stadium where most of the area's humanity clusters, guarded by the remains of the military. Helicopters arrive bearing suited men from a corporation called Axiom, which promises modern solutions to today's problems, including "inhuman monsters who want to eat your family." Axiom wants to know the secret of R's recovery from zombiehood, something not even R understands, and tortures Julie for information. The couple is soon on the run with an Axiom defector and his six-year-old daughter, Sprout, as well as Julie's friend Nora. On a cross-country search for safe haven, R's memories of his pre-death life begin to plague him, particularly his connection to Axiom itself.

R's continued attempts to reclaim his humanity demonstrate that in his world the zombies have more individuality than the humans who make up Axiom's villainous corporate hive. Questions of individuality and morality underscore the zombies' treatment in a disquieting echo of the plight of underprivileged parts of society. Though familiarity with Warm Bodies helps, new readers can use this sequel as an entry point into this alive and kicking series. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Discover: This sequel to Warm Bodies delves into R's past as he faces a menacing new adversary.

Emily Bestler/Atria, $27, hardcover, 512p., 9781476799711

Mystery & Thriller

A Darkness Absolute

by Kelley Armstrong


Kelley Armstrong's A Darkness Absolute opens with Detective Casey Duncan (City of the Lost) pursuing a resident in her adopted town of Rockton, a hideaway for people who don't want to be found. The runner has fled, in a blizzard, into the forbidden surrounding woods. Taking shelter until the storm blows over, Casey and sheriff's deputy Will Anders discover a woman who's been held prisoner in a cave for more than a year. Rescuing her, however, is just the beginning of a complex mystery.

The woman can identify her captor only by body type--he always wore a mask in her presence. To Casey's relief, both Dalton--Rockton's sheriff and Casey's lover--and Will are eliminated as suspects. But the perpetrator could be almost every other man in the vicinity, not just Rockton residents but also the people called hostiles who live in the woods. Then Casey and her colleagues find evidence indicating the woman wasn't the first abductee, only the first to survive. And Casey starts noticing signs of someone stalking her. Can she solve the case before becoming the next victim?

Armstrong sustains a paranoid atmosphere throughout, with Casey rarely certain about whom to trust, including the victim. Many of Rockton's residents have violent pasts, and the hostiles are even more disturbing. The town remains a claustrophobic setting that's merciless when Mother Nature unleashes her power, striking with blinding snow and absolute darkness. But Casey is tough, too, and thriller fans will be eager for another trip to Rockton. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

Discover: Detective Casey Duncan tracks a possible serial killer in an off-the-grid town for fugitives.

Minotaur, $25.99, hardcover, 400p., 9781250092175

Science Fiction & Fantasy

All Our Wrong Todays

by Elan Mastai


Debut novelist Elan Mastai's All Our Wrong Todays begins in an alternate present that feels very much like the future, thanks to an invention created on July 11, 1965, by the scientist Lionel Goettreider. His Engine somehow harnesses the rotation of the Earth to produce "unlimited, robust, absolutely clean energy." For Tom Barren, then, the most wildly optimistic dreams of 1950s pulp science fiction authors have been realized, and the "future" bears more than a passing resemblance to The Jetsons.

Which is not to say that Barren's life is perfect. Haunted by the death of his mother in a freak hovercar accident, Barren becomes a chrononaut for his father's experiments in time travel. The plan is to go back and witness the unveiling of the first Goettreider Engine. But through a tragic sequence of events, Barren finds himself accidentally disrupting the crucial test and preventing his own reality from ever being born. Barren is pulled back to the present--our present--which to his eyes resembles nothing less than a dystopia: "I'm in the same world you're in.... Dull, vapid, charmless, barely evolved from the 1965 I just left."

Mastai is clever and self-aware in how he mines Barren's outsider status for humor. All Our Wrong Todays, like Andy Weir's The Martian, manages to respect the reader's intelligence without overwhelming with scientific mumbo-jumbo. The humor helps--Barren's terrible mistake is followed by an entire chapter of a repeated four-letter word--as do the multiple love stories that form the heart and soul of the novel. It is a very human story about a chronic screw-up finding his place in a screwed-up world. --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books

Discover: All Our Wrong Todays is a funny time-travel romp.

Dutton, $26, hardcover, 384p., 9781101985137

Biography & Memoir

A Country Between: Making a Home Where Both Sides of Jerusalem Collide

by Stephanie Saldaña


After falling in love with a French novice monk in an isolated Syrian monastery, American writer Stephanie Saldaña moved with her new husband into a house that straddled the line between East and West Jerusalem. Struggling to settle into her fragile new marriage and her equally precarious life on Nablus Road, Saldaña soon became pregnant with her first child. Her second memoir, A Country Between, chronicles the luminous, fraught, deeply formative years of living on a divided road within a city and country ravaged by many wars.

Saldaña (The Bread of Angels) observes the passage of seasons both outside her windows and inside her marriage: her husband, Frédéric, is a constant mystery, and Saldaña writes about their relationship as "a walk to meet each other, day after day, a promise, a shy approaching." Similarly, she learns the rhythms and greetings of her neighbors, the bread vendor on their doorstep, the nuns next door, and the mosaic of languages and cultures in this unfamiliar neighborhood that feels like home. As she grapples with pregnancy, writing, the reality of armed conflict and the challenges of daily life in Jerusalem, Saldaña grows ever more determined to study "the art of standing in front of the terrible, and waiting, hoping, that, in time, the beautiful would appear."

Thoughtful, candid and achingly lovely, A Country Between celebrates the moments of beauty and truth that appear even--or especially--in broken and hard places, bringing light and healing in unexpected ways. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams

Discover: Stephanie Saldaña's luminous second memoir chronicles her years living in a war-torn Jerusalem neighborhood while building a marriage and a family.

Sourcebooks, $15.99, paperback, 368p., 9781492639053

History

The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe's Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance

by Anders Rydell, trans. by Henning Koch


Ceremonial book burnings and the theft of precious art works are well-known elements of Nazi Germany's rampage through Europe. In The Book Thieves, Swedish journalist Anders Rydell tells the less familiar story of how two Nazi agencies--the intelligence wing of the Schutzstaffel (SS) under Heinrich Himmler and the Reichsleiter Rosenberg Taskforce headed by Alfred Rosenberg--competed to plunder Europe's libraries until the regime's fall in 1945.

The Nazis' motivation for the theft and dismemberment of libraries was different from that which inspired the looting of precious artworks from museums and private homes. The stolen books were intended to supply Nazi "research" libraries with the raw material for an intellectual war between Nazism and its enemies. Jewish libraries, public and private, were the primary targets, but the agencies also attacked those dedicated to Freemasonry, socialism and the occult. Plunder was followed by destruction. Collections were divided up among different research institutes and warehouses. Books that were not deemed valuable, whether for their rarity or for research, were often destroyed.

The Book Thieves is a quest. Rydell travels across Europe, visiting the remains of plundered libraries and the institutions that still hold many of the stolen books. He talks to librarians who are involved with the overwhelming task of identifying stolen books and their owners, those attempting to rebuild lost collections, and those who mourn the ones lost without a trace. In the process, he tells the story of how the collections were built and the heroic attempts to protect them, creating a vivid picture of lost communities and lost knowledge. --Pamela Toler, blogging at History in the Margins

Discover: The Nazi plan to rewrite history was built on a foundation of stolen books.

Viking, $28, hardcover, 368p., 9780735221222

Philosophy

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

by Daniel C. Dennett


In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, philosopher Daniel C. Dennett (Consciousness Explained) uses a scientific approach to explore the evolutionary origins of human consciousness. Our minds tend to be difficult to study because they are so mind blowing--we are beings that are aware of ourselves and of everything we know, without necessarily knowing how. What could be the evolutionary benefit of such a complicated attribute?

Dennett incorporates modern science with ancient questions of human identity, and takes this trend to its natural conclusion. But it is one that couldn't (and didn't) exist before Darwin, the mapping of the human genome or the Internet: consciousness, Dennett says, is not for anything.

Natural selection was able to evolve the brain from amoebas to self-aware enigmas in much the same way computers repeat algorithms. A perfect system need not know its own purpose in order to achieve it. By putting forth a spectrum of scientific theories, from evolutionary biology to linguistics, Dennett illustrates that consciousness is not a survival mechanism but rather a random mutation of nature.

In one of his more elegant passages, he uses Alan Turing's early experiments in building computers as an allegory for how evolution gave humans such a complicated consciousness. Turing understood about computer code what natural selection understands about consciousness: "In order to be a perfect and beautiful computing machine, it is not requisite to know what arithmetic is." --Josh Potter

Discover: Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett uses a variety of scientific disciplines to explore the evolution of human consciousness.

W.W. Norton, $28.95, hardcover, 496p., 9780393242072

Science

The Evolution Underground: Burrows, Bunkers, and the Marvelous Subterranean World Beneath Our Feet

by Anthony J. Martin


The story of evolution, as it is typically told, just scratches the surface. Life on earth--even the very earth itself--has been shaped in unseen ways, right under our noses. So says Anthony J. Martin, a paleontologist, geologist and ichnologist (one who studies the tracks, trails, burrows, nests and feces of living organisms) in The Evolution Underground. While some dinosaurs took to the skies, many species became expert burrowers. From trilobites and earthworms to spiky-tailed lizards and fairy penguins, the ground beneath our feet teems with life. And it should: burrowers survived the giant meteorite that vanquished much of the planet's life 66 million years ago, and it will be burrowers who survive the next apocalypse. Ask anyone with an underground bunker.

Martin (Dinosaurs Without Bones) writes with obvious glee and a humor that at times digs for the dad-jokes, but as a scholar he knows his stuff--many of the natural discoveries he describes are his own. As he recounts the natural histories of underground cities in Turkey, gopher tortoises (a keystone species whose tunnels shape entire ecosystems in the southeastern United States), ants and other awe-inspiring subterranean dwellers, Martin delivers something the casual reader will not expect: a real education in paleontology. The Evolution Underground is a fun book of surprising depth. --Zak Nelson, writer and bookseller

Discover: One of the world's foremost experts crafts humorous scientific essays on the astonishing history of subterranean evolution.

Pegasus Books, $28.95, hardcover, 400p., 9781681773124

Children's & Young Adult

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas


Many 16-year-olds think nobody understands them, but Starr Carter is sure of it, because she's two people on purpose. During the school day, she's "Williamson Starr," one of a handful of black students at her suburban private school, "approachable" to her friends and her white boyfriend, Chris. When she goes home to Garden Heights, a predominantly black neighborhood her Williamson Prep friends see as "the ghetto," she's just "Big Mav's daughter who work in the store." Starr is well-practiced in keeping her worlds apart, but when she witnesses her childhood friend Khalil's murder, after a cop pulls them over for a broken taillight, the split becomes simultaneously more necessary and nearly impossible. As she processes her grief, Starr pretends at school that nothing is wrong, but privately agonizes over her responsibility to her community. Many have opinions on whether she should testify before a grand jury or tell her story to the media, but the decision, unjust and difficult as it is, is ultimately Starr's.

In her debut novel, Angie Thomas creates what might be one of the decade's most vivid voices in YA fiction. Readers who recognize the first half of rapper Tupac's acronym for THUG LIFE in the title of the book--The Hate U Give--will thrill to the representation of Starr's multiple worlds; those who aren't familiar with Tupac's oeuvre will learn more about his work, and much more besides. Though the appalling scenario depicted here is sadly familiar, Thomas's clear and honest writing moves beyond sound bites to represent the real people and communities behind the headlines. --Stephanie Anderson, assistant director for public services, Darien Library (Conn.)

Discover: This timely YA debut novel shares a heartbreaking teen perspective on Black Lives Matter and racial divides in contemporary American society.

Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, $17.99, hardcover, 464p., ages 14-up, 9780062498533

Daughter of the Pirate King

by Tricia Levenseller


Tricia Levenseller's vivacious debut novel, the first in a duology, boasts stormy seas, sexy pirates, swordplay and a heroine who conquers all three with aplomb.

Although her father is the Pirate King, 17-year-old sea captain Alosa isn't a typical princess. After years of rigorous training under the king's tutelage, Alosa can fight, sail and scheme better than any man. When her father asks her to be captured by rival pirate Draxen so she can search his ship for a coveted treasure map, Alosa obliges, confident she'll be back with her own ship and crew in no time. Unfortunately, she doesn't anticipate having Draxen's brother and first mate Riden as her interrogator. His shrewd eyes see through her pretenses, and his handsome face and quick wits prove distracting in ways she hadn't expected. If Alosa can keep him from guessing the true reason she's on his ship, she might pull off the plan, but their growing attraction threatens her focus, and his loyalty to Draxen.

Levenseller captures all the adventure and chemistry of a classic pirate romance novel, but unlike the bodice rippers of old, this leading lady never plays the role of damsel in distress. Anti-heroine Alosa will light up readers' imaginations with her tough attitude, constant snark and remorseless adherence to her own moral code, but she lights up most in her verbal and physical spars with Riden. A rip-roaring high seas escapade with a tinge of fantasy, Daughter of the Pirate King will engage and enthrall its teen audience. --Jaclyn Fulwood, lead librarian at Del City Public Library, Okla.

Discover: In this swashbuckling YA debut, an enchanting and ruthless teen pirate princess falls for her enemy while trying to steal from his brother.

Feiwel & Friends, $17.99, hardcover, 320p., ages 13-18, 9781250095961

Performing Arts

Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, D.C. Punk Scene

by Scott Crawford


Punk rock is a complex genre to tackle, but music journalist and filmmaker Scott Crawford does so admirably in Spoke: Images and Stories from the 1980s Washington, D.C. Punk Scene. A companion to the author's documentary Salad Days, the collection of photos and stories nevertheless stands on its own in homage to the scene Crawford grew up in, offering detailed context, interviews and commentary.

He opens with punk stalwarts Bad Brains, founded in 1977, expounding on their influence with quotes from such music legends as Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye, Thurston Moore and Dave Grohl. Countless punk icons feature throughout the catalogue of D.C. bands. MacKaye's projects--Teen Idles, Minor Threat and Fugazi--appear in detail as bands that stamped their identity onto American eardrums.

Crawford includes detailed introductions to many of the bands by rock writer Tim Stegall, whose summaries help put both the artists and their music in context. Photos, often shot by Jim Saah, explode with raw, visceral energy. Show posters and fliers offer additional windows into the community and era through pen and passion, relics of a perpetually evolving scene. Spoke is an ode to a particular time and place, but Crawford assures readers it's no "misty-eyed scrapbook" or mere nostalgia; instead, it's a forthright testament to a kaleidoscopic community. This is a rounded collection, with surprises on every page. Given its D.C. focus, Spoke may encapsulate a fairly narrow slice of punk, but it's a critical one--and it's a collection that rocks. --Katie Weed, freelance writer and reviewer

Discover: Photos and tales of punk legends from the Washington, D.C., scene fill this tribute to a particularly rich music landscape.

Akashic, $24.95, hardcover, 132p., 9781617755002

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Author Buzz

Dear Reader,

For years, readers of One Thousand White Women have asked me to write a sequel. The Vengeance of Mothers chronicles the next wave of extraordinary women who traveled west to become “brides” of the Cheyenne, and in the aftermath of tragedy, must ask themselves: how far can we go to avenge the ones we love?

Email trademarketing@stmartins.com to win one of 5 copies.

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Buy this book

Publisher:
St. Martin's Press

Pub Date:
September 12, 2017

ISBN:
9781250093424

List Price: $26.99

 

Dear Reader,

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF IVAN ISAENKO brings to life something that we’ve all experienced on some level—that transformation that can only come from being connected with another human being. 

Ivan is a lifelong resident of the Mazyr Hospital for Gravely Ill Children in Belarus. Life has left him snarky, yet endearing, and totally riddled with defense mechanisms. He curates a very detached and carefully managed life for himself to avoid feeling too much. But when Polina arrives, he wants something for the first time in his life. He wants her to live.

Ultimately, Ivan’s story is about choosing life over fear and embracing the richness held inside of lives we sometimes write off. This makes it a perfect choice for those book club discussions that you can’t stop thinking about for days.

Write me at sstambac@gmail.com for a chance to win 1 of 5 copies! 

Warmly,
Scott Stambach

http://www.scottstambach.com

 

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Publisher:
Wednesday Books

Pub Date:
September 19, 2017

ISBN:
9781250081872

List Price: $15.99

 

Dear Reader,

I love that our PBS Victoria series is so popular in the U.S., and it was great fun writing the novel. I pored through Victoria's diaries, and I think the events of her younger years make for a captivating story. So excited it's coming out in paperback, and I hope you love it. 

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Publisher:
St. Martin's Press

Pub Date:
September 26, 2017

ISBN:
9781250045478

List Price: $16.99

 

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