Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, June 26, 2018
From My Shelf
The Writer's Life
Randi Hutter Epstein: Endocrinology Illuminated
|photo: Nina Subin|
Pop quiz: "How well do you know your fictional bookshops?" the Guardian challenged.
"How did English end up with there/they're/their?" Mental Floss looked for an answer.
"Kill your darlings: 101 pieces of advice for writers & serial killers" were offered by Quirk Books.
"RFID machines in British libraries are producing charming found poetry," Electric Lit reported.
Bustle shared "11 journaling tips for making it a part of your everyday routine."
Atlas Obscura explained "why medieval monasteries branded their books."
Rediscover: A Year in Provence
In the late 1980s, advertising executive turned aspiring author Peter Mayle relocated from England to southern France, where he and his wife (plus two dogs) bought a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the Lubéron countryside. Mayle's move meant a big change from decades of globetrotting and transatlantic commuting, chasing a bucolic vision of long meals, good wine and slow schedules with plenty of time to work on a novel. But Provence itself proved the real story. Mayle's memoir of French country living, A Year in Provence (1989), brought an honest, humorous eye to a paradisaical place not without its share of problems. Surprisingly strong weather, shady truffle dealers and workers working on their own time provided their own headaches--more than offset by Provençal cooking. Each chapter covers a month in Ménerbes, the hilltop commune made famous by Mayle's writing.
Though Peter Mayle eventually relocated to Long Island to escape fans and sightseers in Provence, he moved back to France prior to his death last January. He did get around to writing several novels, including A Good Year, which was adapted by Ridley Scott into a film starring Russell Crowe and Marion Cotillard. Mayle's final book, My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now (Knopf), comes out today. A 20th-anniversary edition of A Year in Provence is available from Vintage Departures ($15.95, 9780679731146). --Tobias Mutter
Number One Chinese Restaurant
by Lillian Li
Discover: This insightful debut follows the ups and downs in the lives of the owners and staff of a Chinese restaurant.
by Elisabeth Cohen
Discover: A clever and humorous debut explores the role of technology in our lives and the price one female CEO must pay to "have it all."
Dreams of Falling
by Karen White
Discover: Fans of Liane Moriarty and Dorothea Benton Frank will love this novel about bittersweet homecomings and the complex power of female friendships.
Mystery & Thriller
by Stephen King
Discover: The Outsider is another terrifying addition to the Stephen King oeuvre that changes things up just slightly.
Science Fiction & Fantasy
by Hannu Rajaniemi
Discover: In an alternate timeline where Great Britain discovered and colonized the afterlife, a British SIS agent must prove one of her deceased comrades is working for the Soviet Union.
Biography & Memoir
Bruce Lee: A Life
by Matthew Polly
Discover: Matthew Polly's definitive biography of Bruce Lee is enormous in size, scope and entertainment value.
Planet Funny: How Comedy Took Over Our Culture
by Ken Jennings
Discover: Planet Funny examines the pervasiveness of comedy in the 21st century, and the perils that come when everything is a joke.
Essays & Criticism
Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded
by Jason Heller
Discover: An in-depth history shows how science fiction stories inspired a generation of rock and funk musicians, including a young David Bowie.
Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
by Randi Hutter Epstein
Discover: A history of endocrinology as entertaining as it is informative, Aroused adroitly covers the basic science, clinical application and dubious commercialization of hormones.
A Feast of Science: Intriguing Morsels from the Science of Everyday Life
by Dr. Joe Schwarcz
Discover: Author, radio personality and insuppressible science communicator "Dr. Joe" offers a smorgasbord of fun facts and reflections.
Children's & Young Adult
The Ruinous Sweep
by Tim Wynne-Jones
Discover: A teen tries to solve a murder mystery while her boyfriend hovers near death, traveling through the underworld to piece together the same puzzle.
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13
by Helaine Becker, illus. by Dow Phumiruk
Discover: How Katherine Johnson overcame racism to make critical contributions to the U.S. space program.