Fiction Short Take: Shining City – Tom Rosenstiel

Rosenstiel—a veteran political journalist and senior fellow at the Brookings Institute—makes his fiction debut with a twisty page turner about the vetting of a Supreme Court nominee. Add in all the inside baseball of left- and right-wing politics and a possible serial killer and you’ve got a page turner for those who can’t get enough of the nail-biter that is real-world America right now. 😉

“[A] polished, entertaining political thriller. President James Nash hires Washington, D.C., spin doctors Peter Rina and Randi Brooks to “scrub” potential Supreme Court nominee Roland Madison….The conservative Rina and the liberal Brooks are an engaging team, and Rosenstiel does a brilliant job dramatizing how Washington’s political sausage is made.”
Publishers Weekly

Veteran journalist Rosenstiel’s debut novel ‘shines’ with page-turning intensity that will make readers hope that this book is the beginning of a new series. Highly recommended for legal and political thriller junkies and fans of David Baldacci and John Grisham.”
Library Journal (starred review)

“[A]n amazing novel full of insider knowledge and insights that could have only come from a writer who has been there. I don’t mean just inside the beltway; I mean inside the places of power and justice. Combine that with a plot that pulses with the momentum of an edge of your seat thriller and Tom Rosenstiel delivers a debut that will be remembered for years.”
— Michael Connelly

Shining City (9780062475367) by Tom Rosenstiel. $26.99 hardcover. 2/21/17 on sale.

New Picture Book: North, South East, West – Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

It’s always a good time to laud the works of Margaret Wise Brown but thanks to the 75th anniversary of The Runaway Bunny and a new biography of Brown there has been some extra attention for this previously unpublished story, illustrated by a Geisel Award winner.

In her inimical style, it tells the story of a little bird who flies to the north, south, east and west before returning home again. Pizzoli’s fresh visual take will appeal to kids and parents alike. It joins the The Dead Bird, newly illustrated by Christian Robinson, in our program that matches Margaret Wise Brown stories with award-winning contemporary illustrators.

North, South, East, West was recently covered in a larger story on Brown on NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday.

The author exposes unspoken depths that make up the parent-child bond, offering nuance and complexity in measured words. Full of simple, curved shapes set in evocative alignments, Pizzoli’s illustrations complement the story well….equal parts wistful and uplifting-a small triumph.”
— Kirkus (starred review)

“Exploring both the urge to explore and the desire for the familiar, Brown’s story speaks directly to longings at the core of childhood.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Every full-color spread bursts with abundant nature and stark beauty….[a] stunning visual homage.”
— Booklist

“Pizzoli’s style is defined by a bright palette and crisp geometric forms that combine to create a Mid-century modern aesthetic befitting a story written by Brown, the mid-century master of picture-book texts.”
— Horn Book Magazine

“Pizzoli’s illustrations are bright and geometric, nearly abstract, with translucent overlays of light color and simple forms that match well with this feather-light story….In North, South, East, West, the mother bird remains wisely silent in response to her fledgling’s question about flying away. But the ending here is cozy all the same — on the final pages we see that the bird now has three babies of her own, asking ‘When we fly away, which is best, North, South, East, or West?’”
Washington Post

North, South, East, West (9780060262785) Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. $17.99 hardcover. 1/24/17 on sale.

Video: Carve the Mark – Veronica Roth

The Carve the Mark Costume Challenge Grand Finale looks like Project Runway for sci fi geeks.

Epic Reads, you blow my mind!

Carve the Mark (9780062348630) by Veronica Roth. $22.99 hardcover. 1/17/17 one day laydown.


Book of the Week: American Street – Ibi Zoboi

Pushcart-nominated author Ibi Zoboi draws on her own history as a young Haitian immigrant to explore contemporary immigrant experience in this new teen novel. Set in Detroit, it is the story of a girl separated from her mother at the border and thrown into urban life with her American cousins.

Ultimately a family and coming of age story, American Street is also richly infused with Haitian culture and dollop of magical realism. It is a beautiful story about one patch in the crazy quilt of American stories—stories of people from all over the world and from many backgrounds.

It’s already been covered in the NYT and arrives with three starred reviews as well as raves from booksellers and authors alike.

“Filling her pages with magic, humanity, tragedy, and hope, Zoboi builds up, takes apart, and then rebuilds an unforgettable story. This book will take root in readers’ hearts.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Zoboi’s powerful debut, set in current-day Detroit (but based on the author’s experience as a Haitian immigrant in 1980s Bushwick, Brooklyn), unflinchingly tackles contemporary issues of immigration, assimilation, violence, and drug dealing…. Mixing gritty street life with the tenderness of first love, Haitian Vodou, and family bonds, the book is at once chilling, evocative, and reaffirming.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Zoboi’s stunning debut intertwines mysticism and love with grit and violence….Zoboi, who emigrated to the U.S. from Haiti, brings a nuanced portrayal of that culture to the narrative. Evocative prose, where Fabiola calls on voodoo spirits, informs and enriches her character, while standing in counterpoint to her hard-as-nails cousins….Fierce and beautiful.”
Booklist (starred review)

American Street left me absolutely breathless. Ibi Zoboi has written a story about family, about first love, about the crossroads of faith and hope. Through the lens of Zoboi’s gorgeous prose, Fabiola’s voice soars as she struggles to make sense of her new life, longs to be reunited with her mother, and finds herself faced with an impossible choice. This is YA at its very best: Aching, revealing, and so true it hurts, and hurts good.”
— Stephanie Appell, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Brimming with culture, magic, warmth, and unabashed rawness, American Street is ultimately a blistering tale of humanity. This is Manchild in the Promised Land for a new generation, and a remarkable debut from Zoboi, who without question is an inevitable force in storytelling.”
—Jason Reynolds

“Ibi Zoboi brings us a Detroit rarely seen: full of wandering spirits, suffused with magic and mystery. At once the story of one determined girl and a family at the crossroads as well as a powerful page-turner, American Street will leave the scent of Papa Legba’s cigar in the air and its mark on your heart.”
—Laura Ruby

“Zoboi’s nascent storytelling gifts ensnare from page one. To this spellbinding voice of the next generation, I bow.”
—Rita Williams-Garcia

American Street (9780062473042) by Ibi Zoboi. $17.99 hardcover. 2/14/17 on sale.

Video: King’s Cage – Victoria Aveyard

It’s here! Book three in the Red Queen series lands on Tuesday. The first two books have netted over 600,000 copies and I’ve haven’t heard this kind of anticipation and enthusiasm from booksellers since Divergent. This story of class, magic, politics and power seems poised to once again hit the top of the bestseller lists.

“A sizzling, imaginative thriller, where romance and revolution collide, where power and justice duel. It’s exhilarating. Compelling. Action-packed. Unputdownable.”
USA Today

“Fascinating world building… Readers will be intrigued by a world that reflects today’s troubling issues concerning ethnic inequality, unfair distribution of wealth, pollution, warfare, political corruption, and the frightening power of the media.”
Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

King’s Cage (9780062310699) Victoria Aveyard. $19.99 hardcover. 2/7/17 one day laydown.

Publicity: One Picture is Worth a Thousand Words…

And her words are pretty darn good, too.

Props to writer and Parnassus Musing editor, Mary Laura Philpott for this spot-on review: “What It’s Like to Experience Kevin Wilson’s New Novel, Perfect Little World.” Pie charts: the future of book reviewing!


Publicity: The Trump Survival Guide – Gene Stone

It’s been another alarming week for human rights. The marches last weekend sent a strong message–but these are messages that need to continue if Americans want true legislative representation.

If you find social media a bit of a dispiriting rabbit hole when it comes to research, grab a copy of The Trump Survival Guide. PW just posted a stellar review; Salon calls it “crisp and pragmatic.” And the $10 price point makes it an affordable starting point for almost everyone.

“Stone addresses 12 key issues, including civil rights, the economy, entitlement programs, health insurance, and immigration. Each is divided into several sections: a Wikipedia-style quick historical overview; what happened under the Obama administration; worst-case scenarios asking ‘What might Donald Trump do?’; and ‘What you can do,’ with information on how to get involved, organizations to join and support, further reading, and the like. This book has everything novice activists need to get started, all in one place….The ‘What you can do’ sections, which could easily have been repetitive, are instead varied and each worthy of careful perusal. Americans concerned about their country’s fate under a Donald Trump presidency will find that this book is the ideal resource for meaningful civic engagement.”
Publishers Weekly

The Trump Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Living Through What You Hoped Would Never Happen (9780062686480) by Gene Stone. $9.99 trade paper original. Available now.