New Books

23 June, 2014

THE COUNTERFEIT FAMILY TREE OF VEE CRAWFORD-WONG, L. Tam Holland

Newcomer L. Tam Holland’s well-received novel, now in paperback (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers/July 8, 2014 release).

This9781442412644_p0_v3_s114x166 “first-rate,” hysterically funny debut novel “that belongs on every multicultural reading list” (Kirkus Reviews) is one of Kirkus’s Best Books of 2013.

When Vee Crawford-Wong’s history teacher assigns an essay on his family history, Vee knows he’s in trouble. His parents—Chinese-born dad and Texas-bred Mom—are mysteriously and stubbornly close-lipped about his heritage. So, Vee makes up an essay about the grandfather he never knew.

The deception begins to spiral out of control when Vee and his best friend, Madison, forge a letter from his relatives in China, asking his father to bring Vee for a visit. Astonishingly, Vee’s father agrees. But halfway around the world is a long way to go to find what Vee has been searching for the whole time—who he really is.

“This engaging narrative is brimming with what-I-am-thinking vs. what-I-just-did quandaries about girls, sex, athletics, bullies, teachers, coaches, and family relationships.  Vee’s story is upbeat, entertaining, and humorous. His personal dilemmas and explicit descriptions and language capture the adolescent male psyche; offer a mixed-ethnicity perspective; portray the social crosscurrents of public high school; and highlight the values of family, forgiveness, and self-respect.” (Library Journal)

The paperback edition of the novel contains a Reading Group Guide.


5 June, 2014

BE NOBODY, Lama Marut

We are all desperately trying to be somebody, to be “special”.
We collect “friends” and “followers” online as symbols of our worth. We hunt fame and visibility.

But maybe we’ve got it all wrong.

With his edgy tone and radical perspective, Lama Marut follows up A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life by calling for the biggest revolution of all: the overthrow of our obsessive quest to be somebody. He shows readers that living an ethical life—a life of selflessness rather than unbridled egoism—is the key to true happiness and the foundation for creating a better world.

Without the need to seclude oneself in a monastery or retire to a cave in the Himalayas, Marut gives readers action steps and simple meditations to find true fulfillment.


28 May, 2014

FREEDOM FROM OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER, Updated Edition, Jonathan Grayson

The second edition of FREEDOM FROM OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER:  A Personalized Program for Living with Uncertainty updates Dr. Jonathan Grayson’s revolutionary program to help sufferers make sense of their own compulsions through frank, unflinching self-evaluation-providing the tools, instructions, and knowledge for changing their cycles of overwhelming fear and endless rituals, as well as the courage to do it.

This indispensab9780425273890_medium_Freedom_from_Obsessive_Compulsive_Disorderle book includes:
- Self-assessment tests that guide readers in identifying their specific type of OCD and help track their progress in treatment
- Case studies from Dr. Grayson’s revolutionary and profoundly successful treatment program
- Blueprints for programs tailored to particular manifestations of OCD
- Therapy scripts to help individuals develop their own therapeutic voice, to motivate themselves to succeed
- “Trigger sheets” for identifying and planning for obstacles that arise in treatment
- Information on building a support group

Jonathan Grayson, Ph.D., is the director of the Anxiety and Agoraphobia Treatment Center in Philadelphia, and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Temple University Medical School. A nationally recognized expert who has worked with OCD sufferers for more than two decades, Dr. Grayson organized the first OCD support group in the country.



27 May, 2014

BREAKING FREE, Abby Sher

Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery, by award-winning author Abby Sher, explores the global issue of human sex trafficking from a survivor’s point of view. It recounts the harrowing stories of three courageous women who were all forced into sexual slavery as children. After escaping their captors, these three women could easily have become voiceless victims, lost to the horrors of their own histories; instead, they have each become leading advocates and activists in the anti-trafficking movement.

With help from survivors and counselors, Sher tells the riveting story of what it means to be liberated from sexual trafficking and find the trust and conviction to help educate new survivors. Told with breath-taking honesty and simplicity, Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery sends the message that, even in the most tragic circumstances, the unwavering hope and compassion of the human spirit can and will shine through.

These searing, harrowing stories tell us the dark truth of the lives of enslaved girls and women, our own sisters and daughters. In Abby Sher’s generous, thoughtful prose, they also become tales of unbelievable courage, hope, and triumph.” –Jennifer Finney Boylan.

Breaking Free: True Stories of Girls Who Escaped Modern Slavery is a courageous and compassionate exploration of a deeply difficult subject matter, filled with hope and solutions as well as important truths. I would say it should be required reading for every high school, but really, it should be required reading for every HUMAN.” –Alysia Reiner, actress, Orange is the New Black

 


20 May, 2014

FLY A LITTLE HIGHER: How God Answered a Mother’s Small Prayer in a Big Way, Laura Sobiech

fly_higherLaura Sobiech tells the amazing story of how God used her son’s battle with cancer to touch the lives of millions.

“Okay, Lord, you can have him. But if he must die, I want it to be for something big. I want someone’s life to be changed forever.”

This is what Laura Sobiech prayed when she found out her seventeen-year-old son had only one year to live. With this desperate prayer, she released her son to God’s will.

At that point, Zach Sobiech was just another teenager battling cancer. When his mother told him to think about writing good-bye letters to family and friends, he decided instead to write songs. One of them, “Clouds,” captured hearts and changed not one life but millions, making him an international sensation.

But Zach’s story is not just about music. It’s a testament to what can happen when you live as if each day might be your last. It’s a story about the human spirit. It’s about how God used a dying boy from a small town in Minnesota to touch the hearts of millions—including top executives in the music industry, major music artists, news anchors, talk show hosts, actors, priests and pastors, and school children across the globe.

Zach once said, “I want to be known as the kid who went down fighting, and didn’t really lose.” Fly a Little Higher is about how God used Zach to do something big.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly declared, “Sobiech’s talent as a writer and love for her son are obvious. Her details ring true, not treacly, and the power of this book lies in its understatement of the faith and emotion, both of them strong, that course through the story. Keep tissues near.”


26 March, 2014

PRETTY IN INK, Lindsey J. Palmer

Set in the fast-paced world of women’s magazines, this dishy debut novel from a former magazine editor establishes Lindsey J. PaPretty in Inklmer as a stand-out young novelist to watch.
Here’s the story line:
For years, Hers magazine has been a fixture on newsstands–relatable, reliable, and ever-so-slightly frumpy. But with sales slumping, Hers’ editor-in-chief soon finds a pink slip in her inbox. And her ruthless, blisteringly high-heeled replacement may not be finished cleaning house yet.  .  .
Leah Brenner suspects she won’t be on the payroll much longer either. A telecommuting, breast milk-pumping mom of three doesn’t mesh with her new boss Mimi’s vision of a sleeker, younger-skewing Hers. Not content with nabbing Leah’s office, Mimi’s protégée, Victoria, is itching to take over Leah’s duties too–and she’s not alone. As the summer rolls out, and staffers are asked to give up even their sexiest secrets to save the brand, everyone at Hers–the sycophantic new assistant;the photo editor who’s sleeping with her boss;the Ivy League intern with oversized aspirations–will fight to keep her career, and some shred of dignity, intact.
Smart, perceptive, and hilarious, Lindsey Palmer’s debut delivers an all too true-to-life tale of very different women faced with high-stakes choices in a rapidly changing–yet utterly familiar–world.
Reviewers are raving about PRETTY IN INK:
“A sharp, hilarious romp through a spot-on believable women’s magazine.” –Sally Koslow, former Editor-in-Chief of McCall’s

“An essential novel.  .  .engaging, sensitive, and so much fun.  .  .I wanted to hang out with the women of Hers Magazine long after I’d turned the last page.” -Diana Spechler, author of Skinny

Publishers Weekly says of Pretty in Ink, “Filled with juicy gossip and outrageous office politics…a dishy, catty book, that’s… an indulgent roll in the mud. Palmer writes this side of womanhood brilliantly.” Booklist says, “A lighthearted gambol through the ever-changing world of women’s magazine publishing, former magazine editor Palmer’s debut contains the authenticity of experience and the salacious story snippets fans of The Devil Wears Prada (2003) will appreciate… With different chapters devoted to different POVs, the politics of the magazine industry find full display in this deliciously delectable read.”

“Tantalizing.  .  .Pretty in Ink is part comic love story and part bloody valentine.” ‑‑Devan Sipher, New York Times “Vows” columnist and author of The Wedding Beat

“This entertaining debut exposes the catty, crazy and competitive inner workings of women’s magazines. A former editor herself, Palmer explores this rarefied workplace and the women struggling to rise to the top–or just hold onto their jobs. A fun, fantastic read.” –Jennifer Miller, author of The Year of the Gadfly


20 March, 2014

COME LANDFALL, Roy Hoffman

The new novel from prize-winning author, Roy Hoffman, COME LANDFALL (University of Alabama Press)

“It will seize your heart and not let go.” -Sena Jeter Naslund

Set along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the stories of three women and the men they love come together in this novel of war and hJkt_Hoffmanurricanes, loss and renewal.

The worlds of three women and the men they love come together in this novel of war and hurricanes, loss and renewal. Christiane, or Nana, reliving the past in her eighties, her granddaughter Angela, working at a Biloxi casino in her twenties, and their teenage friend Cam, the daughter of a Vietnamese shrimper, form a deep connection. As they face heartbreak, their bonds nurture and sustain them. Ordinary people impacted by the shifts of history—Come Landfall is a southern story with a global sensibility.

The Gulf Coast serves as more than just a setting—it is a character unto itself. With casinos lining one side of the highway, antebellum homes along the other, and a Vietnamese neighborhood up the road, here the old South collides with the new. From households along this stretch of US 90, lineages and emotional connections stretch all over the world.

Inspired by true events, Roy Hoffman’s novel has its seeds in the saga of his uncle, Maj. Roy Robinton, US Marine Corps, a WWII prisoner of war in the Philippines who disappeared as captive on a Japanese “hellship.” His young bride, back home, was ground down, waiting.

Christiane returns in her mind to the man she married at twenty-one—Rosey, a flyer with the Army Air Corps who was in the Philippines at the outbreak of WWII. Angela meets Frank, an airman at Keesler Air Force base who is proudly patriotic, deeply religious, and a student of weather. Cam falls in love with Joe, a Biloxi cop, and her own tumultuous story begins to interweave with that of Angela’s and Nana’s. What’s taken from Nana, Angela, and Cam (and so many others when storms make their landfall), what’s given back, and what’s kept forever sit at the heart of this intimate yet expansive novel.

is author of the novels Almost Family, winner of the Lillian Smith Award, and Chicken Dreaming Corn, endorsed by Harper Lee. He is the author of two essay collections, Back Home: Journeys Through Mobile and Alabama Afternoons: Profiles and Conversations. His articles have appeared in the New York Times, Fortune, Southern Living, and the Mobile Press-Register, where he was a long-time staff writer. A graduate of Tulane, he received the 2008 Clarence Cason Award from the University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information Sciences. He teaches for Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program.

11 March, 2014

CLOSE TO A KILLER, Marsha Qualey

From YA author of Thin Ice, Marsha Qualey, a suspenseful and original mystery.

“[A] taut whodunClosetoKillerThumbnail.ashxit. . . . Readers will be engrossed by the drama, the skillfully developed subplots, and a perceptive exploration of characters learning to live with the consequences of their acts.”–Kirkus Reviews

“Difficult to put down because of the author’s deft hand with dialogue and
wry way with characterization.”–School Library Journal

“[An] intriguing mystery. . . .”–Kliatt, Starred

“Imaginative and compelling.”–The Bulletin

Two prominent city residents have been murdered, and Barrie knew both of them. But does she know their killer? The police have connected both victims to her mother’s hair salon, and the obvious focus has become Barrie’s mom and the other stylists, all of whom happen to be convicted killers who met in prison vocational school.    Amidst intriguing people whom she can’t quite trust, and forced into living with the mother she can’t forgive, Barrie tries to ignore the uproar by immersing herself in her writing. But when she shares a troubling suspicion with the homicide detective, she suddenly finds herself pulled deeper into a situation that’s growing more frightening every day.

Marsha Qualey, author of the riveting Thin Ice, has written another absorbing mystery for young adults. Her plot is fresh and original, with none of the tired teen-mystery stereotypes. Barrie and her mother are certainly no Nancy Drew and beloved dad! By adding Barrie’s fractured relationship with her mother to the mystery stew, Qualey has ensured that this story will be gobbled up by more than just genre readers. (Ages 12 and older) –Jennifer Hubert, Amazon

For more about the author, see www.marshaqualey.com


31 January, 2014

Thin Ice, Marsha Qualey

100_IceSeventeen-year-old Arden Munro has been raised by her older brother, Scott, ever since the death of their parents 10 years earlier. He has been her only family. But now Scott too is dead–or so believe the local police and everyone in Arden’s community. Arden, however, is convinced that Scott has staged his snowmobile accident and purposely disappeared. She will search until she finds him. As Arden obsessively continues her detective hunt, she is forced to examine her feelings of loss and isolation, and to finally realize that these feelings existed long before Scott’s accident. Whether or not her brother reappears, where should Arden turn for the support that usually comes from family? The page-turning mystery leads to a heart-tugging conclusion that is at once hopeful and sad, piercing and satisfying.

From Publishers Weekly

“An edge-of-the-seat adventure. Starred review. Ages 12-up.

From School Library Journal

Grade 7-10. Orphaned at age seven, Arden has been raised by her much older brother, Scott. He has allowed her to become an independent young woman. When Arden is a high school senior, Scott is apparently drowned in a snowmobile accident. The vehicle is recovered from a river, but even after a great deal of searching, no body is found. Arden grieves and suffers terrible nightmares until one day she realizes that something about the facts surrounding Scott’s death is not right. She becomes convinced that he has staged his own death. His girlfriend is pregnant and Arden believes that he has chosen to disappear rather than face the burden of raising yet another child. No one believes her, so Arden embarks on a search for him on her own. As clue after clue dead ends, she becomes discouraged but stubbornly refuses to believe that Scott is dead. The brilliance of this plot is that readers do not find out the truth until Arden does. This fact will keep young people anxiously turning pages, trying to puzzle out what has actually happened. At the same time, they will understand and empathize with Arden, a strong-willed teen who perseveres in spite of huge obstacles. Scott’s character is not developed enough before his disappearance for readers to understand why he might be depressed enough to pull a vanishing act, but this does not detract from the suspense. This is a good mystery that deals also with issues of family, relationships, and responsibility?

From Kirkus Reviews

“A page-turner, with plenty of surprises and characters who make mistakes but learn from them. (Fiction. 12-16) 


6 January, 2014

Therapy for the Sane: How Philosophy Can Change Your Life, Lou Marinoff

TherapyForTheSane-BlueMktgImageNow Available in Trade Paperback and E-Book, from the author of PLATO, NOT PROZAC!
Professor Lou Marinoff’s first book, the international bestseller Plato, Not Prozac!, drew on the wisdom of the great philosophers to solve everyday problems, launching a movement that made philosophy useful again. Now, in Therapy for the Sane, he takes the concept to the next level by applying philosophy and its literature to the central questions of modern existence.Dr. Marinoff is a professor and chair of philosophy at the City College of New York. He is the founding president of the American Philosophical Practitioners Association and the author of Plato, Not Prozac, The Middle Way and The Inner Philosopher. He lives in Monroe, New York.
“Lou Marinoff is a fellow pilgrim, always ready to tell the story that hasn’t been told, always ready to take the risks that haven’t been taken. “–Paulo Coelho, author of THE ALCHEMIST
Note:  This book was formerly published under the title:  THE BIG QUESTIONS