Mass Bookshelf for May 2015

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

CHILDREN/YOUNG ADULT

Of A.C. Gaughen’s Lionheartthe third book of the trilogy,  Kirkus Reviews writes: “Gaughen’s tale will satisfy teen readers seeking action-packed romantic adventure set alluringly in another age. Fans of Scarlet will celebrate both this opportunity to revisit Gaughen’s colorfully depicted long-ago world and her suspenseful ending to a lively story.

FICTION

Of Caroline Linden’s latest release, Love in the Time of Scandal, Publishers Weekly writes “The London of 1822 sizzles in Linden’s third Scandalous novel… Penelope is an especially engaging protagonist – an outspoken and historically accurate feminist – and readers will share Ben’s growing appreciation for her thoughtful mind and clever words.”

Reptile House by Robin McLean. “McLean’s debut collection of short stories moves seamlessly from adultery to kidnapping, from assassination plots to extreme geothermal events, all in a voice that is spare and darkly poetic…”  (Publishers Weekly)

The Book of Stone: A Novel by Jonathan Papernick. “This intelligent and timely thriller is told through a Jewish prism, but ­Papernick’s persuasive insights into the nature of fanaticism and its destructive consequences could be applied to any ideology. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal)

“In The Daylight Marriage, there are two mysteries – the whereabouts of a missing woman and the vagaries of the human heart. Heidi Pitlor explores both of these enigmas with equal mastery, merging a shocking crime story with an incisive portrait of a failed marriage.” (Tom Perrotta, author, Nine Inches)

About The Book of Aron, writer John Irving observes: “a heartbreaking historical novel that ends in Treblinka may not be what many readers are expecting from a novelist and short-story writer whose ironic touch is often comedic. But Jim Shepard has written a Holocaust novel that stands with the most powerful writing on that terrible subject.”

NONFICTION

The Food Activist Handbook by Ali Berlow. “If Michael Pollan sounded the battle cry, Ali Berlow issues the marching orders. Think of this book as food activism for everyman. It’s an elitist movement no more – everyone deserves clean food.” (Steven Raichlen, host of Primal Grill on PBS)

In The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution 1783–1789, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Joseph J. Ellis examines how the thirteen American colonies – after declaring themselves independent states in 1776 – became enmeshed in a central government.

“Craig Lambert combines his gifts as sociologist and detective to solve that perennial mystery: where has all our time gone? In Shadow Work he reveals how we unwittingly perform labors that companies used to do, but have offloaded onto us. Reading Shadow Work will be full of A-ha! moments for readers. It’s delightful, surprising, witty, and smart.” (Daniel Goleman, author, Emotional Intelligence)

David McCullough’s “magical account of [the Wright Brothers‘] early adventures — enhanced by volumes of family correspondence, written records, and his own deep understanding of the country and the era – shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly.” (The Washington Post)

“In BiblioTech, John Palfrey sums up the seminal function libraries have played in inspiring and preserving creative thought over the ages. Then, with confident optimism, Palfrey makes it – counter intuitively – clear that the digital age has expanded the function and energy level of libraries.” (Jim Leach, former Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities)

The Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide“In this spellbinding book, Lou Ureneck re-creates one of the most important humanitarian rescue missions of the twentieth century. Until now, the story of Asa Jennings and his improbable rescue of countless thousands of refugees awaiting their deaths was little known.” (Caroline Elkins, author, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya.)

In The Simplicity Cycle: A Field Guide to Making Things Better Without Making Them Worse, Dan Ward explains how to avoid unnecessary complexity – and its ensuing complications. “The Simplicity Cycle’s combination of powerful tools and memorable case studies makes it an essential addition to any innovator’s book shelf.” (Scott Anthony, author, The Little Black Book of Innovation)

POETRY

Poet David Wojahn observes of Kevin McLellan’s Tributary: “The poems of Kevin McLellan’s highly accomplished first collection are haunting and elliptical but never oblique or encoded. Lightning flashes of insight, memory, elegy, and stern self-reckonings illuminate the horizons of these poems, which are unsettling and ecstatic by turns… Kevin McLellan is a poet of singular promise.”

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

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