By day Ronald H. Balson is a trial attorney in Chicago, but by night (or the weekend, or whenever he has time), he writes. His practice took him around the globe and seeing villages in Poland inspired his debut novel, ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS, which he self-published. With virtually no marketing or publicity, it steadily built word-of-mouth acclaim (the average Goodreads rating is 4-1/2 stars) until an eagle-eyed editor at St. Martin's Press snapped it up.
ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS is a heart-wrenching story about two boys, as close as can be without blood relation, who find themselves on opposite sides of the Holocaust as they struggle to survive in war-torn Poland. Sixty years later, their lives collide in a quest for redemption. The result is an enthralling tale of love, survival, and triumph of the human spirit, perfect for fans of SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay.
"This novel is uplifting and moving, intelligently written and featuring historically accurate context and an unusual insight into human character and motivations. Highly recommended for all readers." – Library Journal, starred review
"...readers will be riveted by this novel’s central question: Will justice long delayed be denied?" – Kirkus Reviews
"Many will enjoy this gripping novel for its narrative drive and its emotional storytelling." – BooklistRead more
Hello friends! Did you have a nice weekend? We did. We're rested and ready to share more awesome news with you this week, starting with the Spring 2014 Indies Introduce program.
The Indies Introduce list consists of titles from 10 Adult and 10 Children's debut authors, all chosen by booksellers as the best in new talent for the upcoming season, and two terrific Macmillan titles made the cut:
THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS by TaraShea Nesbit
Bold and emotionally charged, THE WIVES OF LOS ALAMOS is told in the collective voices of the wives of the men who created the atom bomb. Mostly in their mid-twenties and hailing from around the country, the women arrived in New Mexico ready for adventure. What they found was anything but—they lived in barely finished houses in a rugged military town encircled by barbed wire. Though they were strangers, they joined together adapting to a landscape as fierce as it was absorbing, forging friendships and creating families and a true community all amidst intense secrecy and chaos of the war. Think THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY meets THE ASTRONAUT WIVES' CLUB, only fiction.
“In this fascinating and artful debut, TaraShea Nesbit gives voice to the women closest to one of gravest and most telling moments in our collective history: the development and testing of the nuclear bomb at Los Alamos. Tender and mundane details of marriage and domesticity quietly collide with the covert and solemn work at hand. With chilling implications and charged, sure-footed prose, this is a novel—and writer—of consequence.” — Paula McLain, author of THE PARIS WIFE
SHOTGUN LOVESONGS by Nickolas Butler
Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the small town of Little Wing, Wisconsin and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One stayed while others left to make good, with varying degrees of success. Seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them—both then and now—fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of love songs and rivalries. Now all four have returned to Little Wing in hopes of finding their place in the world. SHOTGUN LOVESONGS explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires.
"This debut, told in the alternating voices of four lifelong friends, could do for Wisconsin farm towns what THE LAST PICTURE SHOW did for Texas football towns. Living with the main characters under the microscope that is small-town life, we experience their heartbreaks, successes, failures, loves, and losses. This novel is crafted with heart-wrenching sorrow and joy, displaying the pain and beauty possible when relationships carry from childhood into adulthood." — Kelly Estep, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville KY
This is the week to read and re-read all your favorite banned and challenged books.
If you're feeling inspired to read aloud, we highly recommend that you submit a banned book reading video on the Virtual Read-Out page on YouTube. And don't forget to join the conversation on Twitter today (Monday) 9/23 from 10 am - Noon and Wednesday 9/25 from Noon - 2 pm using the hashtag #BannedBooksWeek2013.
Let's keep fighting for our FREADOM!
Good afternoon, friends! Today we have a special treat for you. We were so pumped when we saw Preservation Librarian Craig Fansler tweet a photo of the MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE exhibit at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library that we had to do more than just re-tweet it. We immediately wrote to Craig (the clear leader of the "Unofficial Robin Sloan Fan Club" at ZSR Library) and asked him our most burning questions about how this awesome display came to be:
What more is there to life, really?
Talia attended local bookstore events for Louise Penny (HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN) and Wilton Barnhardt (LOOKAWAY, LOOKAWAY) at Flyleaf Books and McIntyre's Books. All were smash hits as you can see from the standing room only pictures.
Meanwhile, Anne hit the Rockaways and found kittens living under the boardwalk. She (of course) wanted to take all seven of them home that instant! Fear not! a neighborhood kitten wrangler is keeping an eye on them. Phew!
We hope your week is off to a good start!Read more
Happy Monday, library buds! We're passing on some excellent reading recommendations to you and your patrons from some very wise sources.
- Publishers Weekly said that this week you should be reading SUITABLE ACCOMMODATIONS: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J.F. Powers, 1942-1963 edited by Katherine A. Powers. "These vibrant letters, collected and edited by his daughter, Katherine, reveal a restless, promising writer and family man with a wry sense of humor and a hunger for literary camaraderie." See what else you should be reading this week.
- NPR recently reviewed THE BONE SEASON which they said was always difficult to do for a book with lots of the pre-pub hype. "So how is THE BONE SEASON? It's terrific—intelligent, inventive, dark, and engrossing enough to keep me up late to finish." Read more here.
- Lena Dunham wants YOU to read THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P.:
It's Sunday! Go curl up and read The Love Affairs of Nathanial P.— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 18, 2013
- The New York Public Library tumbled an amazing video of librarians upholding library law to the tune of Beastie Boys' "Sabotage!"Read more
Happy Monday, librarians!
- C-SPAN 3 aired an event at the Smithsonian in which Daniel Stashower discussed his book, THE HOUR OF PERIL! You can watch the recording on C-SPAN.org. Just click the link then select "The Civil War: The Baltimore Plot Against Lincoln" in the right panel.
- Erica Jong, the author of FEAR OF FLYING who some of you will remember from the AAP's BEA Librarian Dinner, has highly recommended Fay Weldon to her Twitter followers after The New York Times ran a review of Weldon's HABITS OF THE HOUSE. Read the review on NYTimes.com.
Fiction Chronicle http://t.co/1Qwmmwd0lh PLEASE READ THE GREAT FAY WELDON! HABITS OF THE HOUSE DOWNTON ABBEY FOR SMART, LITERATE READERS!!!— Erica Jong (@EricaJong) July 12, 2013
- Also in The New York Times was a list of "twisty tales of sin and corruption set against an unforgiving Texas backdrop." The list of Southern crime fiction included THESE MORTAL REMAINS by Milton T. Burton, COMPOUND MURDER by Bill Crider, and STRONG RAIN FALLING by Jon Land (e-galley available).
- And now for the best four seconds of your day/week/life care of Alene Moroni:Read more
Happy post-Fourth of July weekend, librarians! Rub the firework flash blindness out of those eyes, friends, and get ready for another week.
We're back and unpacked after the happy chaos of ALA Annual, but we're diving straight into a full week of Spring and Summer 2014 launch meetings, so expect some e-mail delays. We'll get to everything as quickly as we can.
In BREAKING Book World News: Augusten Burroughs' puppy is still super cute!
You might remember that Augusten Burroughs got a puppy on book tour in May. Looks like Radar is adjusting to NYC life http://t.co/odWGcR1plT— Picador USA (@PicadorUSA) July 6, 2013
Also be sure to wish the inimitable Chris Vaccari from Sterling a (belated) happy birthday!Read more
Happy Monday, librarians!
- We hope you got the chance to properly celebrate National Doughnut Day last Friday. If not, it's not too late. Any day can be National Doughnut Day if you want it to be! Just get yourself some torus-shaped deep-fried dough and GO. TO. TOWN. Our recommended reading pairing: Jessica Beck's Donut Shop Mysteries.
- EarlyWord posted the full list of titles mentioned at the 4th Annual Librarian Shout 'n Share panel on their site with a nice description of the panel, so if you didn't get to BEA, those are the books your colleagues wanted to be sure you knew about.
The titles mentioned that are published and distributed by Macmillan:
FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell
THE BONE SEASON by Samantha Shannon
FLAT WATER TUESDAY by Ron Irwin
LADIES' NIGHT by Mary Kay Andrews
HAVISHAM by Ronald Frame
THE TUDOR CONSPIRACY by C.W. Gortner
CINNAMON AND GUNPOWDER by Eli Brown
HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN by Louise Penny
GOOD AS GONE by Douglas Corleone
PERV by Jese Bering
- As a follow up note: we just found out that FLAT WATER TUESDAY is a June Indie Next Pick alongside ON SAL MAL LANE by Ru Freeman (we will have finished copies of this one in booth #2103 in Chicago!).
- Shelf Awareness reviewed Steve Hamilton's latest Alex McKnight novel, LET IT BURN. They said,
"Hamilton's previous McKnight books were steeped in the lonely ethos of [Michigan's Upper Peninsula], but he may be even more successful in his rendering of today's broken Detroit as we follow the tenacious McKnight past boarded-up mansions, graffitied railroad bridges and trash-strewn yards. It doesn't make a pretty picture, but LET IT BURN may be Hamilton's best novel yet."
Nice! Now let's get this week started!
Seriously though it's still nap time. twitter.com/EmergencyPuppy…— Emergency Cute Stuff (@EmergencyPuppy) June 4, 2013