Mass Bookshelf for April 2015

Here are the titles published by Massachusetts authors this month. Did we miss your book published in April 2015?  If so, email bookawards@massbook.org with the information.  Thanks!

CHILDREN/YOUNG ADULT

Of Lori Goldstein’s Becoming JinnBooklist observes, “[Azra’s] struggles with family and impending adulthood ring true and will likely cultivate a loyal, sequel-hungry audience.”

FICTION

“Jaime Clarke’s World Gone Water is so fresh and daring, a necessary book, a barbaric yawp that revels in its taboo: the sexual and emotional desires of today’s hetero young man.” (Tony D’Souza, author, The KonKans)

In The Chapel, Michael Downing’s “rich descriptions of the chapel in Padua and fastidious art lectures are reminiscent of the work of Dan Brown, but the mysteries here are mostly of the heart. This story of life after loss delivers equal measures of history and hope.”(Booklist)

Of Ken Liu’s The Grace of Kings (Book #1 of The Dandelion Dynasty) Publishers Weekly writes, “Epic fantasy fans will enjoy this large-scale story of political strategy and skullduggery.”

Matthew Pearl’s The Last Bookaneer  “churns and charms with intriguing literary history, acid social critique, witty dialogue, and delectably surprising and diabolical reversals and betrayals.” (Booklist)

NONFICTION

The Ghost Army of World War II, by Rick Beyer & Elizabeth Sayles, describes a perfect example of a little-known, highly imaginative, and daring maneuver that helped open the way for the final drive to Germany. It is a riveting tale told through personal accounts and sketches along the way—ultimately, a story of success against great odds. (Tom Brokaw)

In The Narrow Edge, Deborah Cramer’s “pole-to-pole pursuit of an elusive and threatened bird provides the vehicle for her eloquent exploration of our relationship to nature. The message is both sobering and inspirational.” (Nancy Knowlton, author, Citizens of the Sea)

Rita Goldberg’s Motherland: Growing up with the Holocaust is “A double memoir that braids her parents’ story with her own, and succeeds in articulating a difficult truth.” (The Economist)

Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and her Daughter Mary Shelley “Charlotte Gordon reunites a mother and daughter tragically separated at birth in this rousing and surpassingly readable epic spanning the Romantic era.” (Megan Marshall, author, Margaret Fuller: A New American Life)

Jane Hirschi’s “Ripe for Change has ideas and resources for school professionals and educators interested in connecting school gardens with classroom lessons.” (Anupama Joshi, cofounder, National Farm to School Network)           

Stephen Kress & W. and Derrick Jackson’s Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock is “Engaging” and “one of the great success stories of conservation.” (Library Journal)

Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays by Tina Packer.“This work by the founding artistic director of the celebrated Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, is everything lovers of the Bard would want . . . Don’t miss!” (Library Journal)

“David Roberts is not only an elegant writer and an intrepid explorer, he’s an ideal guide to the mysteries and wonders of the ancient Southwest. The Lost World of the Old Ones is the rare sequel that stands alone yet also takes its rightful place as a classic alongside its predecessor volume. (Mitchell Zuckoff, author, Lost in Shangri-La)

Maria Speck’s “Simply Ancient Grains is an ode to bringing whole grains into the modern kitchen, not simply as ‘health food,’ but as nourishing and delicious additions to the home cook’s pantry.” (John Becker & Megan Scott, authors, Joy of Cooking)

Of James Woods’ The Nearest Thing to Life, Newsweek proclaims “[These] conversational essays [are] as illuminating in their quiet sophistication as they are revealing about Wood himself.”

POETRY

Incarnate Grace by Moira Linehan. “Although illness is at the heart of Moira Linehan’s fine new collection, the overriding sense left by these poems is of an eager imagination at full tilt, transmitting through grounded yet buoyant language a moving sense of what it’s like to live in a world of shadows and yet continue to reach for the light.” (Eamon Grennan)

— Compiled by Kirstie David, Mass Center for the Book.

© 2017 Massachusetts Center for the Book, Inc. All rights reserved.