RaveShelf AwarenessRich in vernacular and innovative line breaks, these poems ask to be read out loud ... Myles crafts poems of personal nature in Evolution. In very short lines, they are also reflective, contemporary, political, erotic and even aphoristic ... Evolution is a triumphant collection that manifests these words from Myles\'s prose poem \'Notebook, 1981\': \'I called it poetry, but it was flesh and time and bread and friends frightened and free enough to want to have another day that way.\'
PositiveShelf AwarenessBeagin\'s debut is grungy and ribald, melancholic and funny. Throw in a little wisdom, schmaltz and a few useful housekeeping tips, and Pretend I\'m Dead delivers a real bang for the buck.
PositiveShelf AwarenessSet in the \'70s, Pulse is partly a whodunnit, partly an historical coming-of-age story, partly gritty noir and partly quantum physics sci-fi. As a film, it might look something like a Good Will Hunting/Boondock Saints/Surrogates farrago—only more tightly wound and carefully constructed ... Like a good crime novel, Pulse is driven by a trail of clues and coincidences that paint a picture of cause and effect.
PositiveShelf AwarenessLike Mark Kurlansky\'s single-focus books about cod and salt, investigative journalist Vince Beiser\'s first book is a rich study of one of the world\'s most abundant natural resources: sand ... With balanced reporting, Beiser also explores the environmental and social implications of sand mining, the interstate highway system, fracking and the overbuilding of shoreline towers and marinas ... In lucid prose, The World in a Grain illustrates the many marvels sand has brought to the world—while at the same time cautioning that without prudent use, the environment and sand\'s economic availability are threatened.
Randi Hutter Epstein
RaveShelf AwarenessWith medical and journalism degrees and as Writer-in-Residence at Yale Medical School, Epstein brings a savvy background to a book rich in clever digressions as well as scientific know-how and historical fact ... A history of endocrinology as entertaining as it is informative, Aroused adroitly covers the basic science, clinical application and dubious commercialization of hormones.
PositiveShelf AwarenessFox is an amiable, entertaining guide to the past and present of this porous, rugged border with Canada. While Northland touches on various political disputes related to Native American issues, oil and gas production, and fishing and water rights, it is more an engaging travel memoir that highlights the lives of those who dwell on our northern edge. Like the meandering border itself, Fox wanders down whatever path catches his interest.
RaveShelf AwarenessIn Kicks, journalist Nicholas Smith recounts the eclectic history of this ubiquitous slice of Americana. Sneakers may have made their first sport appearance on croquet lawns, but their widespread adoption followed the rise of competitive games like tennis, basketball, track and field, and long-distance running ... Smith runs down many tangents of this $18 billion market and the frequent ups and downs of its global players. An offbeat history of the athletic shoe world with cameo biographies of those who built it, Kicks is a sneakerhead\'s dream.
RaveShelf AwarenessLike many novels of isolated microcosmic societies, The Last Cruise slips from a romantic storybook idyll to a struggle between haves and have nots ... Crew and passengers alike \'hover between anxious waiting, festering outrage, and a collective paralysis of will.\' Then, in a stunning denouement, a savage storm rocks the crippled ship. Christensen delivers another engrossing tale rich in character and social mores that reveals the fragile veneer of civilization.
Margaret Bradham Thornton
PositiveShelf AwarenessThornton\'s Wall Street years serve A Theory of Love well. She captures the details of cross-border deals, all-nighter due diligence, tax straddles and currency swaps as astutely as she does Helen\'s growing disenchantment with Christopher\'s new client crowd ... a portrait of romance among the 1%. Yet it is pulled back to earth by the self-reflective, unpretentious Helen who centers Thornton\'s narrative.
James A McLaughlin
RaveShelf Awareness\"Much as natural beauty can mask predator/prey violence, McLaughlin\'s lush descriptions of the native flora and fauna of Moore\'s mountain domain, the \'fecund riot of chest-high bluestem and orchard grass,\' seductively create what could be a setting out of Elizabeth Gilbert\'s The Signature of All Things ... An extraordinary first novel of powerful prose, Bearskin captures the blurry line between studying primordial nature and being a part of it.\
PositiveShelf Awareness\"Echoing Guthrie, Dylan and Springsteen, the poems of Kai Carlson-Wee\'s first collection are the stories of nomadic vagabonds. They spill over with the jargon and brand-name clutter of a life riding the rails, hitchhiking dirt roads and sleeping it off in the fields of the upper Midwest ... Whether riding a rollerblade rail or a freight rail, Carlson-Wee speaks with the authentic voice of a nation of unmoored drifters searching for a home. Rail is a knockout debut.\
PositiveShelf AwarenessIt is one thing to "believe" in an egalitarian society, but quite another to achieve it when the obstacles appear at an early age. In the microcosm of that world that is King Middle School, the options for white "hood" wannabe Green are much better than those for black Marlon ('Latin, upstate, or underground'). Funny and on the money, Green is a perceptive reflection of how far we still have to go.
William C. Rempel
PositiveShelf AwarenessThe Gambler is the first in-depth Kerkorian biography in almost 50 years. With a reporter's tenacity, Rempel digs through archival CRAFFC records, business contracts and divorce proceedings ... Somewhat lean regarding Kerkorian's three wives and two children, The Gambler is nevertheless rich in the details of his business transactions, philanthropy and infamous negotiating style. It is tycoon biography at its best ... A fascinating picture of the late billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, The Gambler captures the nuances of a very private man who made a fortune on his 'nerves of steel.'
RaveShelf Awareness\"Lisa Halliday signals that the world of her first novel, Asymmetry, will be more like that found behind Lewis Carroll\'s looking glass than the more prosaic one in front of it...Then, as if slipping through that looking glass, the novel shifts to the story of Amar Jaafari, the son of California immigrants from Iraq … In their asymmetrical divergence, Halliday\'s two tales straddle our off-plumb world in the first decade of the 21st century … Deftly combining two stories that are distinctive in style and content, Whiting Award-winner Lisa Halliday\'s Asymmetry is a stellar piece of writing and a bold debut.\
RaveShelf AwarenessWith compact precision and the amusing patter of a sardonic narrator, Abrams captures the unusual histories of these ordinary men shuffling through Baghdad as they encounter the horrors of war. They may be AWOL on a personal mission outside command protocol, but they are heroes in their own ways and perform small brave deeds in the midst of half-baked chaos ... the story of a modern war filled with savagery, fear, humor and bravery.
RaveShelf AwarenessSisters is another literary wonder by National Book Award winner Lily Tuck ... [it] is a novel about marriage, family, sex, jealousy and vanity. Its narrator makes her way through entanglements and digressions as her life moves toward a surprising but fitting outcome ... a spare, stunning story--of a marriage, a former wife, a husband, stepchildren and a woman finding her way among them.