I had never watched Dancing With the Stars but I was over a friend’s house one night and it was on and I was mesmerized. Amy Purdy was so good! Graceful and incredibly talented and then I realized she had no legs and I was blown away.
In this poignant and uplifting memoir, On My Own Two Feet, Amy reveals the story of how at 19 she contracted bacterial meningitis and was given less than a two percent chance of survival, but through hard work and determination she defied the doctors and went on to become the top adaptive snowboarder in the world (a three-time World Cup Para-Snowboard Gold Medalist, and the 2014 Paralympic Bronze Medalist!).
Losing her legs also led her to find a spiritual path that has given her internal strength to keep defying the odds. Her memoir urges readers to live life to the fullest, because we are all a lot more capable than we could ever imagine.
In October, Amanda wrote about how much she enjoyed The Country of Ice Cream Star by Sandra Newman, a brilliant and unique dystopian thriller about 15-year-old Ice Cream Star, who must risk her own life to save her brother's.
This book has been getting crazy amazing peer reviews from Kate Atkinson and Jonathan Safran Foer (to name a few), and December brought with it several starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist!
"Newman’s novel is ambitious, taking on race, sex, class, religion, politics, and war all at once. What sets the work apart is its unapologetic narrator, whose fantastically unbridled, wholly teenage point of view renders each page a pleasure to read.” - Publishers Weekly
"...a richly detailed dystopian epic that blends elements of American history, popular culture, and political allegory with romance and thriller pacing. This suspenseful, provocative tale is The Hunger Games meets Lord of the Flies and The Walking Dead, only much, much better." -Booklist
I think this can only mean one thing....download your egalley now and then populate your shelves with it!
The Bookseller is a provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel that follows Kitty Miller, a woman in the 1960s who wrestles to reconcile her daily life as a single bookstore owner with the alternate reality she suddenly begins to dream about each night, in which she is a happily-married wife and mother. This book is great for fans of books and films about the "road not taken," like Sliding Doors, and women's narratives about the struggles of motherhood verses independence. The author convincingly weaves her tale of dream worlds verses reality, both as fleshed out as the other, and readers will be enthralled with Kitty's two lives and the choices she must make.
Check out an egalley from Edelweiss here. Voting for the March LibraryReads list ends January 20, so just enough time to do a little early holiday reading!
Booklist released their Editors' Choice list for 2014, so please join me in a round of applause for the picks from HarperCollins:
John Quincy Adams by Fred Kaplan: an illuminating biography of one of the most overlooked presidents in American history—a leader of sweeping perspective whose progressive values helped shape the course of the nation.
Us by David Nicholls: a new novel from the author of One Day about one man’s efforts to salvage his marriage—and repair his troubled relationship with his teenaged son—during the course of a trip around Europe.
All I Love and Know by Judith Frank: a searing drama of a modern American family on the brink of dissolution, one that explores adoption, gay marriage, and love lost and found.
Lovers at the Chameleon Club by Francine Prose: A richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art, and betrayal, set in Paris from the late 1920s into the dark years of World War II, that explores the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.
The Story of the Jews by Simon Schama: a magnificently illustrated cultural history that details the story of the Jewish experience, tracing it across three millennia, from their beginnings as an ancient tribal people to the opening of the New World in 1492 to the modern day.
Congratulations everyone! Check out the entire list here.
LibraryLoveFest to the rescue! We come to you once again with the perfect selection of gifts for the book lovers in your life. This time, we turn our sights on The Adventurer. Regardless of whether they prefer to climb mountains or watch documentaries, these books will satisfy the most restless of hearts.
Lives in Ruins by Marilyn Johnson: a vastly entertaining read that celebrates archaeological geekery and leaves us with a profound appreciation for the largely unsung work of the real life Indiana Joneses, from the author of This Book is Overdue! and The Dead Beat.
Don't Give Up, Don't Give In by Louis Zamperini: an inspirational new book by American hero Louis Zamperini—subject of Laura Hillenbrand's #1 bestseller Unbroken and its upcoming film adaptation—collecting his wisdom, values, lessons, secrets, and other insights gleaned from his remarkable life.
The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick: a funny, feel-good story of a young man who, in the aftermath of his mother’s untimely death, goes on a quest to find his biological father and forms an unlikely family with three other outsiders, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Silver Linings Playbook. Make sure you also check out his upcoming new book, Love May Fail.
Go forth, my gift-giving adventurers, and discover the great reading that awaits you this season!
I believe it's safe to assume at this point that Neil Gaiman needs no introduction. Fans will be ecstatic to learn that the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, and American Gods is releasing his third collection of short stories early next year, entitled Trigger Warning. This story collection is comprised of previously published pieces of short fiction—stories, verse, and a very special “Dr. Who” story that was written for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who in 2013—as well as a completely new short story written expressly for this collection.
You can download an egalley here! *claps hands in excitement*
For all you librarian Gaiman fans out there, we've teamed up with Neil and his publisher William Morrow to give away 100 posters Neil made exclusively for librarians. Click here to find out more and enter for a chance to win!
I'm late to the party here because Marisa de los Santos has gotten critical praise all over the place for her novels Belong to Me, Love Walked In, and Falling Together, and until The Precious One, I had never read any of her work! What a dope I am.
This novel is beautifully written, has a great story of fractured and mended families, and a genuine, relateable love story.
After 15 years of silence Taisy Cleary's genius, cold, unapologetic father invites her for a visit and requests she pen his memoir. Determined to sort out her feelings for him, curious to connect with her half-sister Willow, and perhaps interested in seeing what the love of her life (who her father had a hand in running off) is up to, Taisy accepts.
Told in the funny, smart voice of Taisy and the earnest, heart-breakingly young voice of Willow, this is a great novel full of secrets, love, obsession, and forgiveness.
Download an egalley now! SO GOOD!
Well folks, it's about that time of year again. The lights are up, the tree is decorated, the candles are lit, and you're just now realizing that you still have a lot of people who still need gifts. Have no fear! We've picked out a few excellent titles—all culled from various lists of the best books of 2014—that are sure to warm someone's heart this season.
Us by David Nicholls: Chosen as one of Library Journal's Top 10 of 2014, this new novel from the author of One Day follows one man as he attempts to save his marriage and salvage his relationship with his son during a trip across Europe.
The Bees by Laline Paull: Also chosen as a best book of 2014 by Library Journal, this brilliantly imagined debut is set in the world of bees, and follows one worker bee as she changes her society forever.
This is the Water by Yannick Murphy: Chosen by Publishers Weekly as one of the best novels of 2014 in their Fiction category, this is a suspenseful story about a teenage swim team that is threatened one promising season by the dark undercurrents of their parents moral failings and a killer who swims in their midst.
Savage Harvest by Carl Hoffman: Critically acclaimed journalist and author Carl Hoffman travels to the remote coast of New Guinea to uncover the mystery surrounding the disappearance of 23-year-old Michael C. Rockefeller in 1961, delving into the complex spiritual world of Asmat tribe, one that included head hunting and cannibalism—chosen by Kirkus as a best nonfiction book of 2014.
We wish you the best of luck on your gift hunting! Be sure to check back here occasionally leading up to the big day for more fun gift ideas.
Marilyn Johnson is no stranger to the library world. Her charm, intelligence and humor made This Book is Overdue! a big success, and now she has used her talents to showcase the world of archaeologists. Lives in Ruins is a fantastic read (hint hint: I hear now is a good time for gift giving), and Marilyn has been kind enough to share some thoughts on how these two professions might not be as different as you think.
Marilyn Johnson reports from the trenches:
“One question keeps popping up as I hit the road to speak about my new book, Lives in Ruins. How did I come to write about archaeologists? I am not an archaeologist, or even a scientifically-minded person. I enjoy looking at nature— through the window. I don’t like insects and rarely get my hands in the dirt. And yet, something about the profession fascinates me, and the people who practice it seem to me to be in the same general business as librarians and archivists and even obituary writers, the subjects of my other books — they are all engaged in the mostly uphill battle to preserve bits of our cultural memory. Yet when I proposed archaeologists as the subject of my next book, my publisher looked at me as if I’d gone bonkers. Who in her right mind thinks librarians and archaeologists are in the same business?