Shelf Awareness for Readers for Tuesday, August 7, 2018
From My Shelf
The Writer's Life
Louise Candlish: Domestic Suspense from Across the Pond
|photo: Jonny Ring|
Fictional Character Quiz
"Only a serious bookworm will know which novels these characters are from," Buzzfeed challenged.
Bustle pitched "five folktales from around the world that would make incredible movies."
Atlas Obscura profiled Ellen G.K. Rubin, the "Popuplady," who has more than 9,000 pop-up and movable books in her collection.
Bookstr explored "six examples of Emily Brontë's lasting influence on pop culture."
An "extremely rare" leather-bound copy of Ada Lovelace's pioneering computer program, first published in 1843, sold at auction for nearly £100,000 (about $131,330), the Guardian reported.
Rediscover: The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin
Russian author, dissident and former exile Vladimir Voinovich died on July 27 at age 85. He is best known for The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin, a sort of Soviet Catch-22 about the Red Army during World War II. Voinovich was born in what is now Tajikistan to a father who was sentenced to five years in labor camps for anti-Soviet agitation. Voinovich published Ivan Chonkin in two parts between 1969 and 1971 and, within a few years, his writing was banned in the Soviet Union, spreading instead through samizdat and Western outlets. By 1980, after a campaign of harassment, Voinovich was forced to emigrate and was stripped of his citizenship. He settled in Munich, West Germany, where he wrote the dystopian satire Moscow 2042. Voinovich was able to return to Russia when Mikhail Gorbachev restored his citizenship in 1990. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Voinovich was a vocal critic of reemerging totalitarianism under Vladimir Putin.
The first part of The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin finds lowly Private Chonkin (now a famous figure in Russian popular culture) assigned to guard a downed airplane. Through a series of satirical misunderstandings and authoritarian stupidity, Chonkin ends up at odds with the NKVD--and singlehandedly thwarts a regiment of them. Chonkin's misadventures continue in Pretender to the Throne: The Further Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin and a third entry published in 2007, A Displaced Person. The first and most famous of Voinovich's Chonkin books is available from Northwestern University Press ($21.95, 9780810112438). --Tobias Mutter
The Bear and the Paving Stone
by Toshiyuki Horie, trans. by Geraint Howells
Discover: Three revelatory stories examine the yearnings for human connectedness through shared memories.
The Lost Queen of Crocker County
by Elizabeth Leiknes
Discover: A devastating secret from Jane's past is revealed when she returns to the small Iowa farm town she left 20 years before.
The Blurry Years
by Eleanor Kriseman
Discover: In interrelated stories spanning her turbulent adolescence, a girl comes of age with her alcoholic mother.
Mystery & Thriller
Caught in Time
by Julie McElwain
Discover: An FBI agent must catch the killer of a 19th-century mill owner in this fascinating time-traveling mystery.
by Louise Candlish
Discover: In this brilliantly dark crime thriller set in South London, a family home is sold without the owner's knowledge.
Biography & Memoir
The Victorian and the Romantic: A Memoir, a Love Story, and a Friendship Across Town
by Nell Stevens
Discover: Part memoir, part fictional biography, all love story, The Victorian and the Romantic will delight readers with its humor, buoyant warmth and unintentional joy.
Now My Heart Is Full
by Laura June
Discover: A new mom contemplates parenthood and her own childhood growing up with an alcoholic mother.
Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company That Addicted America
by Beth Macy
Discover: A veteran journalist's frightening exposé of the American opioid-addiction epidemic.
Fewer, Better Things: The Hidden Wisdom of Objects
by Glenn Adamson
Discover: Fewer, Better Things aims to help the reader appreciate the craftsmanship, form, function and design of objects in a material world.
Nature & Environment
The World in a Grain: The Story of Sand and How It Transformed Civilization
by Vince Beiser
Discover: Journalist Vince Beiser's first book explores the extraordinary role of sand in world development and some of the future risks.
Children's & Young Adult
The Forest Queen
by Betsy Cornwell
Discover: An inspiring, female-centric retelling of the classic medieval ballad of Robin Hood.
by Pat Mora, illus. by Raúl Colón
Discover: Bookjoy, Wordjoy is exactly that: Pat Mora and Raúl Colón's collaborative celebration of all things books and words.