Monday, March 2, 2015

Introducing Our New Kid's VIB

http://bit.ly/17yUIU5
This remarkable novel from Thanhha Lại, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award-winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

Read/listen to an interview with the author about this book HERE. 


Jocelyn says: 
"Mia,  which is Mai in her native Vietnamese, accompanies her grandmother back to Viet Nam to see if the hired detective has found any news of her grandfather,  who was captured during THE WAR. Mia's parents are also interested in her connecting with her ROOTS.
 
Like any other 12 year old California girl, Mia would rather be at the beach."

http://bit.ly/14kOK85
Every now and then we encounter a new children's book or series that we’re so excited about we want to broadcast it from the rooftop. We've created the Kids' TC VIB (very impressive book) to highlight real stand-outs among the many delightful and meaningful new editions for young readers.

Meet Our New VIB!

http://bit.ly/17Cf67l
At a time when women did not commonly travel unescorted, carry a rifle, sit down in bars, or have romantic liaisons with other women, Lucy Lobdell boldly set forth to earn men's wages. Lucy Lobdell did all of these things in a personal quest to work and be paid, to wear what she wanted, and love whomever she cared to. But to gain those freedoms she had to endure public scorn and wrestle with a sexual identity whose vocabulary had yet to be invented. In this riveting historical novel, William Klaber captures the life of a brave woman who saw well beyond her era.

The Rebellion of Miss Lucy Ann Lobdell is the fictionalized account of Lucy's foray into the world of men and her inward journey to a new sexual identity. It is her promised memoir as hear and recorded a century later by William Klaber, an upstream neighbor. Meticulously researched and told with compassion and respect, this is historical fiction at its best.
 
Jackie says:
"This book is based on the real Lucy Ann Lobdell and her letters and diaries.  She always planned to write a book about herself, but she was too busy crashing through all sorts of expectations and social norms.  She pretty much shook the world around her and did whatever she wanted,  with mixed but very interesting results.  There is still a mystique to Lucy Ann (and all the other names she had over her life) that makes this book wonderfully juicy."
 
 
http://bit.ly/1zKCDcs
Every now and then we encounter a new book that we’re so excited about we want to shout it from the rooftops, so we've created a special tag to distinguish it from the rest: TC VIB (very impressive book)! That means it’s a true stand-out in a season of many excellent and compelling new books. 
 
 

Read Across America on Dr. Seuss's Birthday! Today!




Today Is Read Across America Day 

Oh, the places you will go when you read! March 2, 2015 is NEA's Read Across America Day and this year, the book is the Seuss classic, Oh, The Places You'll Go.

http://bit.ly/17VvyPl


http://www.nea.org/grants/886.htm

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds

http://bit.ly/1FREIuM
A gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life: a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness, and of the love that has saved her.

"Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance."

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body. Now, when her symptoms are at their worst, she must spend months on end in a blacked-out room, losing herself in audio books and elaborate word games in an attempt to ward off despair. During periods of relative remission she can venture cautiously out at dawn and dusk, into a world that, from the perspective of her normally cloistered existence, is filled with remarkable beauty.

And throughout there is her relationship with Pete. In many ways he is Anna's savior, offering her shelter from the light in his home. But she cannot enjoy a normal life with him, cannot go out in the day, and even making love is uniquely awkward. Anna asks herself "By continuing to occupy this lovely man while giving him neither children nor a public companion nor a welcoming home—do I do wrong?" With gorgeous, lyrical prose, Anna brings us into the dark with her, a place from which we emerge to see love, and the world, anew.
 

Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds

http://bit.ly/1AEGNpx
"But here is the strangest part. Now in the mornings when I wake from the dream, for an instant it's as if there are two of me. The one that will rise and go off to work and come home again to Mrs. Eberline. And the one that awakes from the dream of the van and feels something inside of her rising. Quickening, yearning, keening."

Channeling the emotional intensity of Susan Minot and Amy Bloom—and infused with a witty, dream-like surrealism reminiscent of Margaret Atwood—this mesmerizing debut takes us inside the unsettling world of Margaret Lydia Benning, which turns upside down when she falls in love…and then unravels before our eyes.

“What I have to tell Ben is just this. At last I am certain. All the signs, all the dreams are in. And I know now I have made a terrible mistake. I was wrong, it turns out, about us.”

Margaret Lydia Benning lives adrift in the same Midwest town where she went to college. By day, she works at a low-level job for the Project, a university-sponsored educational publisher housed in a former sanatorium. There she shares the fourth floor with a squadron of eccentric editors and a resident ghost from the screamers’ wing. At night, Margaret returns to her small house on Mott Street, resigned to the disturbing overtures of her strange neighbor, Mrs. Eberline.

Emotionally sleepwalking through the days is no way to lead a life. But then Margaret meets Ben Adams, a visiting professor of art at the university. Despite the odds—and their best intentions—Margaret and her professor become lovers, and she glimpses a future she had never before imagined. For the first time, she has hope…until Ben inexplicably vanishes. In the wake of his disappearance, Margaret sets out to find him. Her journey will force her to question everything she believes to be true.

Told through intertwined perspectives, by turns incandescent and haunting, Some Other Town is an unforgettable tale, with a heart-breaking twist, of one woman’s awakening to her own possibility—and her ability to love, and love well.

Read some of her short stories HERE.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Neil and Amanda Have A Little Ditty For You (Written by Neil)


Fresh Ink: Spotlight on Debut Books of All Kinds

http://bit.ly/1D5EJ8z
Funny, clever, surreal, and thought-provoking, this Kafkaesque masterpiece introduces the unforgettable Bjorn, an exceptionally meticulous office worker striving to live life on his own terms.

Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works--a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn's bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.

Debut author Jonas Karlsson doesn't leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go--in a world ruled by conformity--to live an individual and examined life.

Read an excerpt HERE.





'The Room' Offers An Escape From The Office — Or Does It?


Praise for the book: 
The Room is the most effective chapbook on workplace comportment since Glengarry Glen Ross. Hats off!” ~Nick Offerman, author of Paddle Your Own Canoe

“A gripping, tense, demonic fable in which the unease is precision-tooled and the turns of the screw wholly unexpected.” ~Neel Mukherjee, author of The Lives of Others

“The daily grind got you down? Escape into this Swedish dark comedy about a scaldingly contemptuous office drone who discovers a secret room in his workplace.” ~O, the Oprah Magazine

“Karlsson deftly captures individual voices, which he conveys directly (as Björn reveals his obsessions) and indirectly (as Björn describes interactions with coworkers). Using Björn’s voice to draw characters and build dramatic tension, Karlsson exposes the gifts and gaffes, visions and delusions, and the rise and fall of a seemingly ordinary civil servant.” ~Publishers Weekly

“A contemporary tale worthy of comparison to Franz Kafka’s works, Amélie Nothomb’s Fear and Trembling, and Herman Melville’s classic Bartelby, the Scrivener, while the antics of Björn’s fellow workers recall Terry Gilliam’s film 'Brazil'. Enjoyable reading, extremely well executed, this fable should become mandatory reading for cubicle and office workers everywhere.” ~Library Journal


“Provocative…Karlsson’s deft jab at dead-end workplaces keeps you agreeably off-balance and eager for more of his work.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“Part psychological drama documenting a disturbed man’s possible descent into madness and part satirical take on corporate culture and the alienated workers it produces, Karlsson succeeds admirably in creating the perfect combination of funny, surreal, and disturbing.” ~Booklist