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This Is Memorial Device by David Keenan ($16.00*, Faber & Faber Social), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe, Asheville, NC.
Taking you through an hour in Opportunity High School, during which a shooter comes in and changes everyone's lives, this book will also take you on an emotional roller coaster.
Told from multiple points of view, you get an idea of what the shooter is like, what has happened in his life that might have brought him to this point, and how he's affected the people close to him.
A heartbreaking novel that draws you into a small-town tragedy and somehow manages to not give up hope.
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (Sourcebooks Fire) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC
This Narrow Space is incredibly well written, honest, and compelling! While dealing with some very delicate issues, namely the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and life-threatening pediatric illness, Dr. Waldman manages to express his observations and views without voicing any obnoxious political opinions! He is idealistic, yet humble; brilliant, yet ever eager to seek and to learn. He speaks of everyone with respect. I went into this book interested in the cultural and medical experiences of an accomplished physician; I came out blown away by the reflections of a profoundly gifted writer.
This Narrow Space by Elisha Waldman ($25.95*, Schocken Books), recommended by Vero Beach Book Center, Vero Beach, FL.
Shafak crafts a novel that is highly philosophical and entertaining. There are themes that speak to world politics and feel so right in their timing as well as timeless questions about God and love. A propulsive read that will leave you wanting more of Shafak's skill with language.
Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak ($27.00*, Bloomsbury USA), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC.
Thunderhead is a rare sequel that is even better than its predecessor. Shusterman has an incredible ability to subvert all expectations, and even when I thought I knew what would happen, a new twist would turn my perception on its head! Rowan and Citra both stayed true to their characters, which is difficult to do in a dystopian world. I loved every minute and will be putting this duology into every hand I can!
Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman ($18.99*, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), recommended by Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.
Eleanor Flood, once a rising star as an artist and cartoonist now lives in Seattle. She still writes some, but primarily lives her life as a wife and mother. In one day of inopportune revelations and odd adventures, Eleanor comes to reckon with her complicated and dissatisfying family life. From the bestselling author of Where'd You Go Bernadette? comes another disarmingly funny story executed with a conversational tone that almost belies the seriousness of the plot. I especially love the full-color interior section of Eleanor's graphic novel Flood Girls, illustrated by Eric Chase Anderson.
Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple (Little, Brown & Co., $2799), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
From the publisher: Fifteen years ago, Susan Morrow left her first husband, Edward Sheffield, an unpublished writer. Now, she's enduring middle class suburbia as a doctor's wife, when out of the blue she receives a package containing the manuscript of her ex-husband's first novel. He writes asking her to read the book; she was always his best critic, he says. As Susan reads, she is drawn into the fictional life of Tony Hastings, a math professor driving his family to their summer house in Maine. And as we read with her, we too become lost in Sheffield's thriller. As the Hastings' ordinary, civilized lives are disastrously, violently sent off course, Susan is plunged back into the past, forced to confront the darkness that inhabits her, and driven to name the fear that gnaws at her future and will change her life.
Mary at The Country Bookshop says Tony and Susan is a "truly creepy novel that will have you checking over your shoulder."
Tony and Susan: The Riveting Novel That Inspired the New Movie Nocturnal Animals by Austin Wright ($14.99, Grand Central Publishing), recommended by Mary, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.
This isn't a self-help or get rich quick book; it's the ultimate browsable treasure trove of tidbits of information from the lives of individuals who are masters of their craft. Topics range from fitness & diet to friendships, work habits, tech, and everything in between. Who doesn't want to hear some sage advice from people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sebastian Junger, Jamie Foxx, or Sam Harris? Just the info on pg. 138 about evening and morning rituals is well worth the price of admission (and truly changed my life for the better). If you take from this book what the author intends, you'll "like 50%, love 25%, and never forget 10%."
Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss ($28, Houghton Mifflin), recommended by Lane, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
At its best, pop culture criticism forces us to reconsider a familiar product by placing it in a new context and, in doing so, imbuing it with new meaning. Trainwreck is just that. Doyle effectively and entertainingly litigates her case: that Western culture's fascination with 'fallen' female starlets—AKA trainwrecks--is simply a modern form of the patriarchal silencing and marginalization of women that has been going for centuries. With sly humor and lively prose, Doyle systematically punches through all the familiar straw-man arguments and convincingly illustrates that the 'harmless fun' of Internet clickbait and TMZ gossip are merely modern forms of public shaming. A must-read.
Trainwreck: The Women We Love to Hate, Mock, and Fear ... and Why by Sady Doyle (Melville House, $25.99), recommended by Matt at The Booksellers at Laurelwood, Memphis, TN.
Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw is a universal love letter to a childhood spent in a religiously observant and unorthodox household.
It’s a joyous, and sometimes heartbreaking, look at family, love, the food that keeps us together and the traditions that can tear us apart.
Author Elissa Altman sets a beautifully written table.
Treyf: My Life as an Unorthodox Outlaw by Elissa Altman (New American Library) Recommended by Beth at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC
A busy couple formerly on the brink of realizing their dreams reflects on a fortuitous gathering with their best friends and another couple in a tale that explores the role of guilt in relationships and the power of everyday moments in family life.
Liane Moriarty's novels consistently feature spot-on observations about contemporary life, irresistible humor, and page-turning suspense. Her last two books, Big Little Lies and The Husband's Secret, were both massive #1 New York Times bestsellers.
Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Flatiron Books) Recommended by Bookstore1Sarasota Sarasota FL
An around the world tour of all of the tangible workings behind that seemingly intangible construct known as the internet.
Lots of great information on where and how your news, emails and favorite adorable kitten videos are stored and transmitted to your computer monitor. Great for techies but also great for readers interested in history or just good non-fiction. No computer science degree required.
Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet by Andrew Blum (Ecco Press) Recommended by John at Cavalier House Books Denham Springs LA
Mark Twain: funny, witty, beloved author. Also Mark Twain: moody, selfish, cruel philanderer. His secretary, Isabel Lyon, knew both sides of the man very intimately. This novel tells her story. So compelling!
Twain's End by Lynn Cullen ($16.00, Gallery Books), recommended by Kathy, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.
A customer returns a copy of She's All That to a late-90s video store complaining about footage from a bizarre home movie spliced in. The mysterious scene shows hooded figures and vague, quietly horrifying movement.
Universal Harvester will keep you up an night. It sneaks up on you and scares you when you least expect it. Quick and beautifully written-- highly recommend!
Universal Harvester by John Darnielle ($25.00, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), recommended by Colin, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.
Children and teachers alike will fall in love with spunky Latina heroine Sophie Brown and the super powered chickens she has inherited and must keep safe from both chicken hawks and chicken thieves.
This exceptional debut is recommended for fans of Roald Dahl and all animal lovers.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; Katie Kath (Illustrator) (Alfred A. Knopf) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC
The Strand is my Mecca, and I can think of no better setting for this series of interview-conversations with some of our most treasured authors. Discussions range from craft and process to which authors they’re reading now and whatever else might come up. There’s something here for every bibliophile. (Plus, how great is it that they made this a book instead of YouTube videos or something?)
Upstairs at the Strand: Writers in Conversation at the Legenday Bookstore by Jessica Strand (W.W. Norton & Company, $15.95), recommended by Shannon at Scuppernong Books, Greensboro, NC.