Shelf Awareness for Thursday, April 13, 2017

Atlantic Monthly Press: Those Opulent Days: A Mystery by Jacquie Pham

Feiwel & Friends: The Flicker by HE Edgmon

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers: The Pumpkin Princess and the Forever Night by Steven Banbury

St. Martin's Griffin: Murdle: The School of Mystery: 50 Seriously Sinister Logic Puzzles by GT Karber

Carolrhoda Lab (R): Here Goes Nothing by Emma K Ohland

Allida: Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Ace Books: Servant of Earth (The Shards of Magic) by Sarah Hawley


Rocky Mountain Land Library Surpasses $125,000 Kickstarter Goal

Congratulations to the Rocky Mountain Land Library's Kickstarter campaign, which ended last week and raised some $140,320, $15,000 above its goal, donated by 1,007 contributors. With the extra money, Jeff Lee and Ann Martin have added several projects to their project of helping transform a historic cattle ranch in South Park, Colo., into a live-in library and art space and a site for workshops, residencies and retreats.

In addition to completing the renovation of the Cook's House, one of the six main structures at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, which the $125,000 is earmarked for, the extra money will be used to fix-up a donated caravan to make it into a "truly mobile home"; build an outdoor earth oven; and build two compostable toilets/outhouses for ranch visitors.

Lee and Martin, who have worked at the Tattered Cover bookstore in Denver for more than two decades and have collected some 35,000 books that feature the American West, noted that the extra projects "will be achieved by expert advice and volunteer labor. They will also be occasions that bring people together at the ranch, giving us the chance to work on something greater than ourselves--building something for the common good we all care so much about."

PM Press: P Is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book by Golbarg Bashi, Illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi

Bookstore Planned for Stratford, Conn.

Nikkya Hargrove has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to help support her effort to open Serendipity Books, a bookstore in Stratford, Conn., that will stock "all genres" and have a social justice theme. The store will serve local coffee and pastries and offer programming for children and workshops for adults, and aims to be "a place for the community to learn and grow together," Hargrove says.

Nikkya Hargrove

Under the IndieGoGo campaign, Hargrove, a freelance writer for the Washington Post who also works in the nonprofit sector, hopes to raise $100,000. She said that the store is taking a first step by hosting a pop-up shop at Two Roads Brewery in Stratford, 12-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30, the day after Independent Bookstore Day.

Hargrove noted that neither Stratford nor neighboring Bridgeport, the largest city in the state, has an indie bookstore, and said Serendipity Books will give the community "the opportunity to buy local and support local members of our community through their purchase at our store.

"A bookstore provides access to literacy and programs which you can't always find," Hargrove added. "There is nothing quite like running your hands through the pages of books, sitting down and engaging in a story which you'll remember forever!"

Farrar, Straus and Giroux: Intermezzo by Sally Rooney

Proud Bookstore, Rehoboth Beach, Del., Closing


Proud Bookstore, Rehoboth Beach, Del., "one of the last remaining LGBT bookstores in the U.S.," according to the Washington Blade, is closing on Monday, April 17. Owner Jocques LeClair said he is moving back to his hometown of Gettysburg, Pa., to be near his children and grandchildren.

A manager of the Lambda Rising bookstore in Rehoboth Beach, LeClair founded Proud Books in 2010, shortly after Lambda Rising closed. Proud Bookstore "helped a lot of questioning youth and helped their parents understand more about LGBT issues," LeClair said. "Proud provided a safe haven for young LGBT people."

LeClair had hoped to sell the business but believed that "despite Rehoboth Beach being a destination for LGBT individuals the need for specific LGBT venues has diminished."

Local author Fay Jacobs, who said the store "has been so important to residents and visitors, not to mention their support for me and other local writers," speculated that that Browseabout Books, which has hosted book signings for LGBT authors for years, would increase its offerings of LGBT books.

Loida Garcia-Febo President-Elect of ALA

Loida Garcia-Febo

Loida Garcia-Febo, international library consultant and president of Information New Wave, a nonprofit that brings access to information to underserved populations, has been elected president-elect of the American Library Association, American Libraries magazine reported. She serves for a year as president-elect, and then will become president at ALA's 2018 annual conference.

Garcia-Febo received 3,278 votes, just edging out Scott Walter, university librarian, DePaul University, Chicago, who received 3,209 votes; and Terri Grief, school librarian at McCracken County High School in Paducah, Ky., who received 2,636 votes.

"Together with ALA members, we will bring change to impact public policy, benefit our profession, and our communities," Garcia-Febo said. "ALA will be the leading voice advocating for libraries and library users while maintaining our core values; will have a place and a voice at the decision makers' table, particularly for those in our communities with no voice; and will amplify their concerns to Congress, at the state house, in city councils, and school boards; will build coalitions with like-minded partners sharing our values; will facilitate joint work among its units to promote diversity and equity in our profession and association; will train our members to flourish throughout our careers, to lead, serve, and empower our libraries, patrons, and communities; and will advance our concerns through actions conveyed by pillars of ALA's Strategic Plan: Advocacy, Information Policies, Professional and Leadership Development, and Diversity and Inclusion."

Garcia-Febo has been an ALA member for 15 years, has served on the ALA Council since 2011, and was elected to the ALA executive board 2015-18. She has worked on many committees and is chair-elect of the International Relations Round Table.

She is also active in the International Federation of Library Associations and Reforma (the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking), where she was president 2009-10. In 2015, she received the Reforma Elizabeth Martinez Lifetime Achievement Award.

Ci5: Another Year of Growth; Starting a Book Subscription Club

The fifth ABC Children's Institute in Portland, Ore., marked another year of growth for the gathering, with more than 240 attendees from more than 160 bookstores of all kinds across the country. Almost 60% of attendees--more than 140--were at their first Children's Institute. The lively event, taking place over three days, featured a range of inspiring speakers, panel discussions, rep-pick sessions, a first-ever trivia party and a welcoming party at the legendary Powell's City of Books. Keynote speakers included author and illustrator Rachel Ignotofsky; Ilsa Govan, co-founder of Cultures Connecting; and author Jason Reynolds (see our coverage of his talk here).

Speaking to attendees, ABA CEO Oren Teicher noted the importance of children's booksellers, saying, "You and your colleagues are shaping the future of our industry. From the board books that welcome babies to the joys of reading with loved ones, to the picture books that illustrate their worlds, to the young adult novels that let teens discover their special place in the multifaceted community of the book, it is you and your colleagues who instill, encourage, and develop a lifelong love of books and ideas that fuels the unique and irreplaceable connection between authors and readers."

He noted, too, the theme of diversity, a major topic of the event, saying, "Once again, you have taken a leadership role, this time on the critically important issue of diversity. As our industry--and our country--work to ensure the voices of all people are heard, the independent children’s booksellers have spoken up, taken action, and are making a critical difference."


On the last day of Children's Institute, booksellers Sarah Taylor of the Bookworm of Edwards in Edward, Colo., Kate Laubernds of Powell's Books in Portland, Ore., and Amanda Zirn of Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Del., offered advice on running book subscription services. While subscription services can provide a reliable monthly income especially valuable for stores in areas with populations that fluctuate from season to season, the logistics involved are considerable and require planning well in advance.

At the Bookworm of Edwards, there are three monthly subscription programs. The first, called Give Fifteen, started five years ago and was designed as a gift subscription for kids and young adult readers. Subscribers receive one hand-picked book per month, except during December when they receive two and during their birthday month, when they receive three books. Three years later, the Bookworm started an adult program called Trust Me You'll Love It, and most recently launched the Adopt a Reader subscription service, through which customers can give books each month to children from low-income families. Taylor oversees the two children's programs. Between the two, there are more than 100 total subscribers, and every month Taylor selects books for each kid. She orders the books, wraps them, includes a handwritten note, either from herself or from the subscription givers, and ships them out. Taylor said she uses to handle monthly payments and ships the books through USPS (the Adopt a Reader books are not shipped but usually distributed through a variety of community organizations). Prices can vary, but there are $15, $25 and $35 options, while the Adopt a Reader program is kept at less than $20 per month. Taylor added that she is "always thinking of books," but putting the boxes together each month is a week-long process from start to finish.

Although Powell's has had an adult book subscription service called Indiespensible for years, the store launched its first kids subscription program, BOOX, this March. Every eight weeks, BOOX subscribers receive a hardcover picture book released within the last three months, a second book that is a hardcover remainder copy, and a non-book gift that can range from stickers to buttons to a small toy. Each BOOX box is centered on a theme: volume 1 featured Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima as the new hardcover title and Day Dreamers: A Journey of Imagination by Emily Winfield Martin as the remainder title. Laubernds explained that she and her colleagues decided to go with one new book and one remainder title in order to lower the cost of the overall box without sacrificing quality. She added that using remainder titles necessitates working far in advance and is part of the reason why the box comes out every eight weeks rather than every month; for each box she and her team are working "several months ahead." Subscribers don't know what they're getting, aside from the main featured title, until they receive the box.

Zirn launched her store's Book Drop service in February 2015. During the winter months, things are extremely slow at Bethany Beach Books, and Zirn thought a subscription service would be a great way both to reconnect with summer customers during the "off-season" and create some guaranteed income for the store. Initially, the service entailed sending a box with a book and a handwritten note. However, Zirn had to drop most of the personalized touches after Book Drop was featured on a Buzzfeed list of "Geeky subscription boxes you need right now" and saw a massive boost in popularity. Now, the service hovers at around 700 subscribers per month, with four subscription options: one for children ages 8-12, one for young adults, and two options for adults. Initially there had been even more options, including ones devoted to specific genres, but that became overwhelming with the increase in subscribers. Customers can subscribe month-to-month, for three months at a time, or for six months; payments renew automatically and Zirn also uses to handle payments. She has the books planned about four or five months in advance and keeps the titles secret, although the Book Drop website does provide hints about the next book. Packing and shipping the subscription boxes each month, she reported, takes a solid two or three days of work, and Zirn handles the packing in a separate location from the bookstore. She advised: "If you are going to start [a subscription service], keep it as simple as possible and then grow with it." --Alex Mutter


Image of the Day: Historical Fiction in Annapolis

At the Annapolis Book Festival this past weekend, (l.-r.) authors Marie Benedict (The Other Einstein), Greer MacAllister (Girl in Disguise and The Magician's Lie) and Erika Robuck (Hemingway's Girl and Call me Zelda) appeared on a panel about historical fiction.

Indie 'Chalk Walk' of the Day: Auntie's Bookstore

On Facebook yesterday, Auntie's Bookstore in Spokane, Wash., shared "a few photos from our chalk walk today for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, in partnership with LCS Northwest!"

Diamond to Distribute Heavy Metal Media to Global Book Market

Effective immediately, Diamond Comic Distributors has assumed exclusive worldwide sales and distribution for Heavy Metal Media in comic shop and book markets for graphic novels, trade paperback and hardcover book publications. Diamond will continue to distribute Heavy Metal magazine's bimonthly issues to comic shop and specialty stores as well.

Tim Lenaghan, Diamond v-p, purchasing, commented: "I love the direction they are taking the iconic Heavy Metal brand and the creative output they are bringing to graphic novels and other products. We look forward to extending their success to the book market through our Diamond Book Distributors division."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: David Owen on Fresh Air

Morning Joe: Mike Lupica, author of Point Guard (Simon & Schuster, $16.99, 9781481410038). He'll also be on the Today Show tomorrow.

Fresh Air: David Owen, author of Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River (Riverhead Books, $28, 9781594633775).


Ellen: Maddie Ziegler, author of The Maddie Diaries: A Memoir (Gallery, $21.99, 9781501150661).

This Weekend on Book TV: The San Antonio Book Festival

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday 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, April 15
12 p.m. Book TV explores the history and literary life of Charlottesville, Va. (Re-airs Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

1:30-7 p.m. Coverage from the fifth annual San Antonio Book Festival, which took place on April 8 in San Antonio, Tex. (Re-airs Sunday at 12 a.m.). Highlights include:
  • 1:30 p.m. Karl Jacoby, author of The Strange Career of William Ellis: The Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire (Norton, $27.95, 9780393239256).
  • 2:15 p.m. Jeff Guinn, author of The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476763828).
  • 3 p.m. Lydia Reeder, author of Dust Bowl Girls: The Inspiring Story of the Team That Barnstormed Its Way to Basketball Glory (Algonquin, $26.95, 9781616204662).
  • 3:45 p.m. Tim Z. Hernandez, author of All They Will Call You (University of Arizona Press, $26.95, 9780816534845).
  • 4:30 p.m. Ali Noorani, author of There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration (Prometheus Books, $25, 9781633883079).
  • 5:15 p.m. Alexandra Zapruder, author of Twenty-Six Seconds: A Personal History of the Zapruder Film (Twelve, $27, 9781455574810).
  • 6 p.m. Lydia Pyne, author of Seven Skeletons: The Evolution of the World's Most Famous Human Fossils (Viking, $28, 9780525429852).
7 p.m. Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why it Matters (Oxford University Press, $24.95, 9780190469412). (Re-airs Sunday at 7:30 a.m.)

8 p.m. Jack Barsky, author of Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America (Tyndale Momentum, $24.99, 9781496416827).

9 p.m. Eugenia Cheng, author of Beyond Infinity: An Expedition to the Outer Limits of Mathematics (Basic Books, $27, 9780465094813).

10 p.m. Bill Gertz, author of iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age (Threshold Editions, $26, 9781501154966). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at 12 a.m. and 3 a.m.)

11 p.m. Alyssa Mastromonaco, author of Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (Twelve, $27, 9781455588220), at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, N.Y.

Sunday, April 16
8:30 a.m. The Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City will conduct a complete reading of Elie Wiesel's Night in three parts. Part two will air 1:30 p.m. and part three will air at 5 p.m.

6:30 p.m. Jack E. Davis, author of The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea (Liveright, $29.95, 9780871408662).

8 p.m. Trey Radel, author of Democrazy: A True Story of Weird Politics, Money, Madness, and Finger Food (Blue Rider Press, $27, 9780735210721).

10 p.m. Mary Jennings Hegar, author of Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman's Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front (Berkley, $26, 9781101988435), at BookPeople in Austin, Tex.

11 p.m. Graeme Wood, author of The Way of the Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State (Random House, $28, 9780812988758).

Books & Authors

Awards: International Dublin Literary Finalists; Ben Franklin Winners

Finalists have been unveiled for this year's €100,000 (about $113,920) International Dublin Literary Award, which "aims to promote excellence in world literature" by honoring a novel written in English or translated into English. The prize is sponsored by Dublin City Council and managed by Dublin City Libraries. The winner will be named June 21. The shortlisted titles are:

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angolan), translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn
Confession of the Lioness by Mia Couto (Mozambican), translated from the Portuguese by David Brookshaw
The Green Road by Anne Enright (Irish)
The Prophets of Eternal Fjord by Kim Leine (Danish/Norwegian), translated from the Danish by Martin Aitken
The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli (Mexican), translated from the Spanish by  Christina MacSweeney
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Vietnamese/American)
Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta (Nigerian-American)
A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkish), translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap
A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austrian), translated from the German by Charlotte Collins
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (American)


The IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards winners in 55 categories have been announced and can be seen here. The awards, sponsored by the Independent Book Publishers Association, honor the best in independent publishing.

Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, April 18:

The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough (Simon & Schuster, $25, 9781501174216) collects speeches from the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and biographer.

Climate of Hope: How Cities, Businesses, and Citizens Can Save the Planet by Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250142078) explores ways to combat climate change.

This Fight Is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America's Middle Class by Elizabeth Warren (Metropolitan Books, $28, 9781250120618) outlines the Massachusetts Senator's progressive policies.

Uncovering Trump: The Truth Behind Donald Trump's Charitable Giving by David A. Fahrenthold (Diversion Publishing, $12, 9781635761597) delves into candidate Trump's unsubstantiated claims of charitable contributions that revealed even larger scandals--by the Washington Post reporter who this week won the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for this subject.

Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes (Crown, $28, 9780553447088) looks at how Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.

The Stars Are Fire: A Novel by Anita Shreve (Knopf, $25.95, 9780385350907) follows a pregnant mother during the 1947 Maine forest fires.

My Cat Yugoslavia: A Novel by Pajtim Statovci, translated by David Hackston (Pantheon, $25.95, 9781101871829) takes place in 1980s Yugoslavia and Helsinki, where a gay Muslim refugee meets a talking cat.

Unreliable: A Novel by Lee Irby (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542050) uses an unreliable narrator who may be a murderer.

A Line Made by Walking by Sara Baume (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $25, 9780544716957) follows a young artist searching for meaning in rural Ireland.

Note to Self by Connor Franta (Atria/Keywords Press, $24, 9781501158018) is the memoir of a YouTube star.

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler (Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062424327) is a humorous picture book about the politics of playground leadership.

Bang by Barry Lyga (Little, Brown, $17.99, 9780316315500) is a YA novel about a 14-year-old boy who can't get beyond his accidental killing of his sister 10 years earlier.

The Revolution of the Moon by Andrea Camilleri, translated by Stephen Sartarelli (Europa Editions, $16, 9781609453916).

IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

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

Mercies in Disguise: A Story of Hope, a Family's Genetic Destiny, and the Science That Rescued Them by Gina Kolata (St. Martin's Press, $25.99, 9781250064349). "This is the tale of a family that has shown remarkable strength in the face of adversity. Kolata does a wonderful job showing us the Baxleys' joy and heartbreak by chronicling their decisions, their doubts, their fears; the decision to be genetically tested for a devastating illness seemed agonizing and the consequences of living with the outcome even more so. The strength shown by Amanda and the Baxley family made this one of the most amazing stories that I have ever had the privilege to read. I thank them for sharing their story with me; it was truly inspirational." --Austin Wheeling-Goodson, Burry Bookstore, Hartsville, S.C.

Girl in Disguise: A Novel by Greer Macallister (Sourcebooks Landmark, $25.99, 9781492635222). "'I'm a resourceful and strong young woman, there is no other option.' That's the concept behind Greer Macallister's telling of the real, honest-to-goodness life of Kate Warne, the first female Pinkerton detective. Kate is a widow with no money and no honest prospects, and she is desperate. Her unconventional upbringing taught her flexibility, and, spotting Pinkerton's ad, she won't take no for an answer. She is hired as an agent and, having proved her value, is soon hiring and training more female agents and serving as a spy as the U.S. prepares to split apart. Girl in Disguise is a delight: entertaining and a sure nonstop read." --Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Wash.

Sweetbitter: A Novel by Stephanie Danler (Vintage, $16, 9781101911860). "Sweetbitter has bite. Our heroine, Tess, moves from nowhere to New York, where her life is going to officially begin. Yes, she's had a childhood and been to college, but none of that counts. Nothing starts counting until she crosses the river and starts working at a restaurant downtown. While she's there, she falls in love and obsession, she finds a life, and starts to find herself. The writing is sharp, and the story is fierce and electric, like you have to read carefully or you might hurt yourself. Even still, I could not stop." --Tyler Goodson, Avid Bookshop, Athens, Ga.

For Ages 4 to 8
Tidy by Emily Gravett (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781481480192). "Perfect for Earth Day, this fun picture book shows just what can happen when Badger takes tidying up just a bit too far. Between the ungroomed foxes, untidy birds, messy leaves, and dirty, dirty mud, Badger just isn't happy until the forest is perfect and desolate and barren. But when his belly begins to rumble from the lack of nuts and berries, he sets his priorities straight and learns to care for the forest just as it is." --Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C.

For Ages 9 to 12
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Marvel Press, $13.99, 9781484781548). "I really enjoyed this book. It is a great middle reader for all kids but it's especially empowering for girls. There are many funny scenes portrayed in this story: a posse of squirrels that adore babies, an urban legend, LARPers, and many, many conversations between the reader and Squirrel Girl herself. This newfangled superhero is all heart--well, heart and bushy tail--and her adventures are fantastic." --Dwi Grandison, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, De.

For Teen Readers
A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi (St. Martin's Griffin, $18.99, 9781250085498). "A battle-ready princess and clever prince are offered the opportunity to compete for wishes they desperately need. With the tricky god of fortune in charge, though, the only guarantee is a story full of twists and turns. Full of challenges, riddles, and magic, A Crown of Wishes delivers the same lush world-building and beautiful storytelling as Chokshi's debut novel, A Star-Touched Queen. Readers will be transported to a world of myth and legend, where no one is who they seem and nothing matters but the story." --Shelby Daniel-Wayman, Fair Isle Books, Lombard, Ill.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]

Book Review

Review: Lilli de Jong

Lilli de Jong by Janet Benton (Nan A. Talese, $26.95 hardcover, 352p., 9780385541459, May 16, 2017)

In Janet Benton's debut, a woman's love for her baby battles a seemingly unstoppable foe: the prejudice and moral outrage against an unwed mother in 1880s United States.

Twenty-two-year-old Lilli de Jong's journal chronicles the toughest time in her life. After the death of her mother in 1882, Lilli's father, Samuel, immediately marries his first cousin Patience, a woman of easy virtue who sees his daughter as an obstacle. His disregard for the Society of Friends' mandatory mourning period leads to the family's expulsion from their church and the loss of Lilli's teaching position. Johan, the man Lilli loves and her last source of comfort, proposes before leaving to seek his fortune in Pittsburgh. Trusting in his sincerity, Lilli surrenders to passion, and so her "time of shame began in glory." Her joy turns sour as she swells with pregnancy and hears no word from Johan.

Fleeing Patience's wrath, Lilli gives birth at the Philadelphia Haven for Women and Infants, where young women give up their newborns for adoption and return to their lives after much sermonizing on their sins, "as if passion alone explained our predicaments." After the birth of tiny ginger-haired Charlotte, Lilli finds her love for her infant "is like a hardy plant that rises in me." Against all advice, she rebels and keeps Charlotte. However, their prospects are perilously bleak. Even when Lilli takes work as a wet nurse for a wealthy socialite, the family worries their baby will absorb loose morals through her milk. Since they won't allow a bastard child into their home, Lilli must find her own nurse for Charlotte, a terrifying endeavor in a time when "baby farmers" drugged babies with laudanum and let them starve while their mothers worked days on end without seeing them. As the world continues to slam doors in her face, Lilli fights desperately to protect and keep the person she loves most.

Lilli's story of poverty and anguish reminds readers that they needn't always reach for dystopian sci-fi for depictions of horrifying injustice. While Lilli's struggles may initially raise sentiments about how far we've come, in the end the reader will likely think, "Or perhaps not." The challenges she faces to keep custody of her daughter, earn a living and find safe childcare descend into the hellish, yet they have clear parallels for the modern parent, single or attached. A gorgeous paean to the courage and ferocity of a mother's love, Lilli de Jong pays homage to the solace of writing through troubling times and will haunt readers long after its denouement. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: A young American Quaker woman struggles alone to provide for her illegitimate child in the early 1880s.

The Bestsellers

Top Book Club Picks in March

The following were the most popular book club books during March based on votes from book club readers in more than 35,000 book clubs registered at

1. A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman
2. The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
3. A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel by Amor Towles
4. Small Great Things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult
5. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
6. The Underground Railroad: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
7. Lilac Girls: A Novel by Martha Hall Kelly
8. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
9. Me Before You: A Novel (movie tie-in) by Jojo Moyes
10. Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly

Rising Stars:
A Piece of the World: A Novel by Christina Baker Kline
Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel by George Saunders

[Many thanks to!]

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