Shelf Awareness for Readers for Friday, August 24, 2018
From My Shelf
The Writer's Life
Nico Walker: Vet's Homecoming Rivals the Horror of War
Pop quiz: "Can you spell these 15 tricky spelling words?" Merriam-Webster challenged.
Author Kevin Kwan "has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo." Buzzfeed shared "Crazy Rich Asians fun facts that'll make you want to watch it 100 more times."
"Borrowed seasons: 9 quotes from modern African poets" were featured by Bustle.
"What do astronauts read on the International Space Station?" The Independent has answers.
"Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights--in charts."
Bruno Suraski's Mosquito table bookshelf's design "came from the pursuit of stability and balance without the need of any physical or chemical unions," the Bookshelf noted.
Rediscover: Little Man Little Man
Little Man Little Man: A Story of Childhood was James Baldwin's first and only children's book. Originally published in 1976, Little Man shows, via illustrations by French artist Yoran Cazac, the daily life of Baldwin's nephew, Tejan Karefa-Smart, aka TJ. Four-year-old TJ lives in Harlem with his sister and two parents, an unusual counterpoint to the broken families of TJ's friends and neighbors. His childhood world of playing ball in the street is never far removed from adult concerns such as police brutality, drug abuse, poverty and domestic violence. TJ's playfulness and resilience, despite his shattered innocence, shows why Baldwin described Little Man as a "celebration of the self-esteem of black children."
Baldwin began Little Man after his young niece and nephew discovered he was a famous author. Unfortunately, contemporary critics were less enthusiastic than Baldwin's extended family. Thus Little Man has been out of print for more than 40 years--until today. Duke University Press is releasing a new edition of Little Man Little Man with a foreword by Baldwin's nephew Tejan, an afterword by his niece Aisha Karefa-Smart, and an introduction by Baldwin scholars Nicholas Boggs and Jennifer DeVere Brody ($22.95, 9781478000044). --Tobias Mutter
The Mere Wife
by Maria Dahvana Headley
Discover: The myths and monsters of Beowulf combine with the horrors of suburbia in a stunning and complex novel of love, motherhood, greed, ambition and isolation.
by T. Sean Steele
T. Sean's journal jumps and loops within time and space, and life doesn't so much happen to him as it happens around him. "The facts existed, or they didn't, whether or not I paid attention to them." His observations on life, and the rules of adulthood, are morbidly funny and ring with an oddball truth that fans of Welcome to Night Vale and Alice Isn't Dead will relish. --Cindy Pauldine, bookseller, the river's end bookstore, Oswego, N.Y.
Discover: Tacky Goblin is a very funny and deeply strange story of one man's resistance to the trappings of adulthood.
OK, Mr. Field
by Katharine Kilalea
Discover: In a spare and inventive first novel, poet Katharine Kilalea breathes life into a lonely, flummoxed man in search of a metaphysical place to hang his hat.
Mystery & Thriller
by Nico Walker
Discover: Nico Walker's debut novel is a grim portrait of a soldier's experience of the Iraq War and of the drug addiction that haunts his homecoming.
The Arab of the Future 3: The Circumcision Years: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1985-1987
by Riad Sattouf
Discover: A young child becomes desensitized to the growing violence surrounding his Middle Eastern upbringing as he adapts to Syrian traditions and culture.
Biography & Memoir
Tragedy Plus Time: A Tragi-Comic Memoir
by Adam Cayton-Holland
Discover: Comedian Cayton-Holland's harrowing memoir of his sister's mental illness and suicide is a painfully candid and therapeutic journey through grief.
Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick
by David Frye
Discover: This history of walls, both insightful and entertaining, offers a perspective for understanding the reemergence of these barriers today.
Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road
by Kate Harris
Discover: Kate Harris's gritty, luminous memoir of cycling the Silk Road explores wanderlust and boundaries.
Gross Anatomy: Dispatches from the Front (and Back)
by Mara Altman
Discover: A bold and entertaining investigative dive into the strange and wondrous (and often embarrassing) workings of the female body.
by E.E. Cummings
Discover: This oddball collection of work from E.E. Cummings showcases different talents of the modernist poet.
Children's & Young Adult
A Big Mooncake for Little Star
by Grace Lin
Discover: Grace Lin's picture book introduces adorably mischievous Little Star, who can't resist nibbling on the Big Mooncake she baked with her Mama.
Mama Dug a Little Den
by Jennifer Ward, illus. by Steve Jenkins
Discover: Mama Dug a Little Den uses rhyming words and stimulating images to stir children's curiosity about the natural world.
by Ethan M. Aldridge
Discover: Ethan M. Aldridge's graphic novel Estranged is a quintessential fantasy adventure featuring a human boy and the changeling who took his place.