RaveShelf Awareness... compelling ... a striking combination of verse and prose ... hauntingly lyrical language ... The exceptional elements of this memoir abound. Gansworth\'s own art adds dimension to an already vivid narrative ... With dramatic textual imagery, nuanced storytelling and evocative illustrations, Apple is a stirring depiction of Indigenous life likely to evoke empathy from and resonate with all who venture into Gansworth\'s world.
RaveShelf AwarenessIn this riveting debut...Schaitkin vividly paints the emotional struggle Claire experiences after leaving the island ... The differing points of view remind readers [of] unreliable narrators; readers must parse for themselves what the truth is, if it actually can be found ... While Saint X on its surface presents a mystery, the focus is on the dynamics of human relationships—and the result is an engrossing tale about family, about privilege and about finding one\'s way in the labyrinth of life.
RaveShelf AwarenessGappah returns them to the forefront of this amazing pilgrimage and brings both the time and the terrain into focus for her audience with humor, horror and all the wonder unique to the continent ... Halima is a smart, spirited woman. Readers will find that her sharp wit and cagey nature combine for a fascinating perspective of the funeral trek ... In Out of Darkness, Shining Light, Gappah has managed to artfully blend brilliant humor with a strong sense of place and themes surrounding the dark issues of slavery and colonization. She delivers an engrossing adventure laced with details that history books have neglected ... Gappah paints an emotionally charged image of the slaves who are unable to continue walking.
RaveShelf AwarenessWith wit and charm that only Louis Bayard can deliver, Courting Mr. Lincoln transports readers to 19th-century Springfield ... Courting Mr. Lincoln oscillates between the voices of Mary and Speed, brilliantly connecting the audience with these two individuals ... This is a love triangle capable of stealing the hearts of readers ... Bayard\'s masterful command of language enchants and thrills ... He offers more reasons to love one of the most admired presidents in U.S. history and proves yet again why he himself is one of the nation\'s greatest literary gems.
RaveShelf Awareness\"Slams two conflicting ideas of the American Dream smack into each other with both wit and wisdom. Through the clever use of stereotypes--tree huggers, working mothers, popular teens, even drug-addicted lawyers--she examines themes of community and inclusion, delves into the complexities of individuals and their relationships and satirizes the idea of the perfect little town. Readers will likely identify with elements of Langsdorf\'s outlandish characters--their good intentions, ambition, frustrations, secret desires--while simultaneously laughing along with her at their oddities--mammogram paintings? The dialogue is sharp and a mystery subplot adds a dash of suspense. Entertainment at its best, White Elephant earns a shiny, gold star.\
RaveShelf AwarenessDelving into the life of Memphis photographer Ernest Withers, popular historian Preston Lauterbach...offers readers a new vantage point on a pivotal time in United States history. His fastidious research, storytelling skills and passion for the subject make Bluff City an engrossing, fascinating biography that reads like an espionage thriller ... Bluff City is emotionally stirring. Lauterbach expertly blends the passions of the period with the seeming betrayal of a hero. He details the complexities of the man and the movement, bringing out all the shades of gray necessary to understand the whole picture. This is a snapshot of U.S. history taken from a rare perspective, and the accompanying photographs from Withers\'s estate perfectly enhance Lauterbach\'s writing.
RaveShelf Awareness\"Dark and delightful, playful and peculiar, Little is Edward Carey\'s absorbing, fictional re-creation of Madame Tussaud\'s early life ... Carey\'s spirited style brings a lightness to Marie\'s bleak days and a whimsy to her brighter ones. He blends dark humor with a puckish tone for a story that\'s simply magnetic ... Even when there\'s a foreboding atmosphere, his words seem to dance on the page ... Little is big in many ways: creativity, energy, concept and character. Leave plenty of room in your heart for this one; you\'ll need it.\
PositiveShelf Awareness\"[Fountain\'s] words are emotional and powerful. While Donald Trump and those who enable him are primary targets, no one escapes his criticism, including much of the American electorate. Beautiful Country Burn Again has the potential to arm the body politic with their greatest weapon--knowledge.\
RaveShelf Awareness\"With raw, uncomfortable frankness, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Eli Saslow dissects the ideological transformation of a man once considered the \'Great White Hope,\' the heir to the White Nationalist movement ... Saslow handles this delicate story with journalistic integrity. The hundreds of hours spent with his subject are evident in the portrayal of the intense internal conflict Derek and his girlfriend undergo. Rising Out of Hatred is a powerful story of the damage hate is capable of, as well as the potential of faith and hope.\
PositiveShelf AwarenessThrough humorous analogies, she adeptly and self-effacingly relates this trial for those who find it foreign. She\'s also very open about her struggles with weight and body image in a culture that obsesses over it ... Okay Fine Whatever manages expertly to blend adventure, romance, mental illness and an extra helping of humor for an entertaining memoir.
RaveShelf AwarenessLazar blurs the lines of reality and imagination in this captivating, provocative novel that reads like nonfiction. The stark depiction of Angola, the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, strikes the reader with such force, the sting leaves an emotional mark ... Vengeance is profound in its exploration of the U.S. penal system. It's empathetic without being sentimental in the treatment of its characters, both in and outside the walls of the prison. Lazar's novel is a beautiful specimen of storytelling while simultaneously challenging its audience to reach deep and question the very core of their beliefs. Lazar delivers his tale with language that mirrors the dichotomy of his themes. He can be flowingly poetic or brutally blunt. But he's always effective. Settle in and prepare to be changed by this powerful novel.
PositiveShelf Awareness\"Jerkins\'s essays present many legitimate issues faced by black women. There are, however, instances in which she presents theories as fact (the Hottentot Venus influencing the 19th-century bustle style in women\'s dresses, for example) and makes arguable, sweeping generalizations, like \'White women are not pressured to look like anyone else but themselves.\' Nevertheless, Jerkins has strong character, and This Will Be My Undoing is likely just the beginning of her influence on the role of black women in the United States. As she is careful to point out, she is just one voice and her story doesn\'t speak for all black women, but with any luck her one voice will inspire other voices to add to the chorus of change.\
RaveShelf-AwarenessIde alternates chapters between Isaiah's Long Beach investigation into his brother's murder and the duo's efforts in Las Vegas to untangle Janine from the deadly web she's caught in. The initial transition may catch readers off guard, but the flow quickly becomes evident and the plot's engaging action will keep readers riveted ... Like Ide's first novel, Righteous is dark, smart and layered. It also displays brilliant humor, especially through Dodson, who is never short on a colorful exchange packed with wit and sarcasm ... With only two books under his belt, Ide has proven he's first-rate when it comes to writing great crime novels.
J. M. Lee, Trans. by Chi-Young Kim
RaveShelf AwarenessWith regular allusions to Homer, Lee takes his modern-day Odysseus on a journey of epic proportions after he escapes the camp in order to keep his promise to Kang. The characters Gil-mo encounters as he follows Yeong-ae's trail from Asia to North America rival the complexity of Homer's. From the compassion of Gil-mo's best friend who gives him his gloves as Gil-mo is carted away, to the vile greed of the prison camp warden who profits from the boy's naiveté, a spectrum of players make The Boy Who Escaped Paradise riveting … The novel is a reminder of the power of numbers, but one doesn't need to be a math fan to appreciate the brilliance of this work. The language is mesmerizing, illustrating the logic of Gil-mo's mind as clearly for the audience as it functions for the boy.
RaveShelf AwarenessIn his quirky, heartwarming debut, Fredrik Backman introduces the world to Ove, who recently lost his wife, Sonja, to cancer and his job to downsizing. Ove lived for both and feels suddenly irrelevant, so he's resolved to commit suicide. Fate has other plans … Backman juxtaposes the seriousness of tragedy with the hilarity of life's unpredictability in a respectful and endearing recitation of Ove's experiences … A Man Called Ove is exquisite. The lyrical language is the confetti thrown liberally throughout this celebration-of-life story, adding sparkle and color to an already spectacular party. Backman's characters feel so authentic that readers will likely find analogues living in their own neighborhoods.