Book Scoop May 26- June 2, 2017

June 2, 2017
InToriLex, Book Scoop, Book News, Weekly Feature
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 


Happy National Pride Month!!

HEADLINES

American War
Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be.

Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.




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Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
~Amazon~
 In her phenomenally popular essays and long-running Tumblr blog, Roxane Gay has written with intimacy and sensitivity about food and body, using her own emotional and psychological struggles as a means of exploring our shared anxieties over pleasure, consumption, appearance, and health. As a woman who describes her own body as “wildly undisciplined,” Roxane understands the tension between desire and denial, between self-comfort and self-care. In Hunger, she explores her own past—including the devastating act of violence that acted as a turning point in her young life—and brings readers along on her journey to understand and ultimately save herself.

With the bracing candor, vulnerability, and power that have made her one of the most admired writers of her generation, Roxane explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

FEATURED SHORT STORY

Miraculously, He Escapes” by Sean Adams
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I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual by Luvvie Ajayi

May 31, 2017
InToriLex, Book Review, Luvvie Ajayi, I'm Judging You: The Do Better Manual, Henry Holt & Company Inc
Published By: Henry Holt & Company Inc on November 17, 2016
Format Read: Paperback Edition (241 pages)
Genre: Self-Help/ Humor/ Non-fiction
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Boston Radical Intersectional Feminist Book Club Pick
Rating: THREE POINT FIVE  STARS
I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
~Amazon~ 
Comedian, activist, and hugely popular culture blogger at AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi, serves up necessary advice for the common senseless in this hilarious book of essays

With over 500,000 readers a month at her enormously popular blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Luvvie Ajayi has become a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I'm Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives—from the cultural importance of the newest Shonda Rhimes television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma's wake on Facebook. With a lighthearted, rapier wit and a unique perspective, I'm Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some "act right" into our lives, social media, and popular culture.

VERDICT:

 REVIEW:

I enjoyed the many topics covered in a relate able and humorous way, challenging me to do better, in this book. Luvvie spoke about hygiene, being late, bad relationships and race relations in a way that I never felt preachy, even though I was learning. Racism, feminism and sexual assault are hard topics to address, because of the many ways they intersect. Luvvie's use of a interpersonal interaction to get your attention on a topic, followed by speaking to institutional and systematic reasons why it happens was great. The made up words she used to give adjectives some extra ummph  was a unique quirk that read conversationally.
"The real scaffolding of racism are institutions that are so fully entwined with prejudice that to change them would require over-hauling entire systems, entire ways of life."
I was not familiar with Luvvie's blog, but did feel some of the chapters about social media would fit better on that platform.The author forces us to look at some hard truths and ways that we all participate in a culture that impacts some in harmful and oppressive ways. While reading this book I was made aware of the author  recently taking issue with social activists, asking for compensation at speaking events. Unfortunately this led me to judge Luvvie for her unwillingness to see why social activism, is exhausting and valuable. This article summarizes why it's hard to know when intellectuals are more interested in promoting themselves then the issues they write about.
"If the people who support you are being hurt every single day, and you turn your back because the pain has nothing to do with you, then you are taking their presence for granted."
While reading I laughed and agreed with many valid points about how to live a more fulfilled and honest life.  However some of the topics covered in these essays missed the mark for me, possibly because I wasn't more familiar with her writing. This book is in development with Shonda Rhimes to become a Comedy Series, so I will be on the lookout for that.  I would recommend this to readers who enjoy honest and funny social commentary that most people will be able identify with. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 Luvvie Ajayi is a NYTimes best-selling author, pop culture critic, and professional troublemaker who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology and activism. Her debut book "I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual" was published in Sep. 2016, becoming an instant best-seller.

She is the person who often says what you're thinking but dared not to because you have a filter and a job to protect. She is also a digital strategist, noted speaker and Executive Director of The Red Pump Project, a national HIV/AIDS organization.
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Website
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Lola by Melissa Scrivner Love

Loa, Crown Publishing Group, Melissa Scrivner Lover, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Crown Publishing Group on March 21, 2017
Format Read: ARC Paperback Edition (336 pages)
Genre: Adult/ Thriller/ Crime
Series: Stand Alone
Source: Publisher Giveaway
Rating: TWO STARS
Lola
~Amazon~ 
The Crenshaw Six are a small but up-and-coming gang in South Central LA who have recently been drawn into an escalating war between rival drug cartels. To outsiders, the Crenshaw Six appear to be led by a man named Garcia . . . but what no one has figured out is that the gang's real leader (and secret weapon) is Garcia's girlfriend, a brilliant young woman named Lola.

Lola has mastered playing the role of submissive girlfriend, and in the man's world she inhabits she is consistently underestimated. But in truth she is much, much smarter--and in many ways tougher and more ruthless--than any of the men around her, and as the gang is increasingly sucked into a world of high-stakes betrayal and brutal violence, her skills and leadership become their only hope of survival.

An astonishing debut crime thriller about an unforgettable woman who combines the genius and ferocity of Lisbeth Salander with the ruthless ambition of Walter White. Lola marks the debut of a hugely exciting new thriller writer, and of a singular, magnificent character unlike anyone else in fiction.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

I don't like to review books I haven't completely read, but I could not continue reading this book past page 113. I never  bought into Lola being as smart, manipulative and capable as she was portrayed. I also thought some of the passages didn't mesh well together. Their would be along description about the environment mixed in with little dialogue between main characters, it didn't flow well. Lola was described as brilliant because she pays attention, but not brilliant enough to translate her skills to opening a business or getting money outside of the drug trade.
 "All people everywhere, rich or poor, skinny or fat, are animals. Looking for a fight. Looking to turn everyone else against the weakest."
The following were the  reasons I couldn't continue reading this book to completion.

-unable to suspend disbelief
-protagonist not likeable
-bad transitions
-not enough character development
-info dumps that led to no-where
-picks up rogue kid she identifies with but is ambivalent about actually helping her

It may have been that the author wasn't familiar enough or clear enough about the story she wanted to tell, but this urban violent fiction was not compelling or interesting. Save your self some time and skip this title.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 MELISSA SCRIVNER LOVE was born to a police officer father and a court stenographer mother. After earning a master's degree in English Literature from New York University, Melissa moved to Los Angeles, where she has lived for over a decade. During that time, she has written for several television shows, among them Life, CSI: Miami, and Person of Interest. She and her husband, a comedy writer and Los Angeles native, welcomed their daughter in 2014. Lola is her first novel. 
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Book Scoop May 20- May 26, 2017

May 26, 2017
Weekly Feature, Bok Scoop, Book News, InToriLex
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 
Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

HEADLINES

How A Mystery Bookstore Revived the Genre

Anthony Weiner Loses Book Deal  

Summer Reading Recommendations
Borne
~Amazon~ 
"Am I a person?" Borne asked me.

"Yes, you are a person," I told him. "But like a person, you can be a weapon, too."

In Borne, a young woman named Rachel survives as a scavenger in a ruined city half destroyed by drought and conflict. The city is dangerous, littered with discarded experiments from the Company—a biotech firm now derelict—and punished by the unpredictable predations of a giant bear. Rachel ekes out an existence in the shelter of a run-down sanctuary she shares with her partner, Wick, who deals his own homegrown psychoactive biotech.

One day, Rachel finds Borne during a scavenging mission and takes him home. Borne as salvage is little more than a green lump—plant or animal?—but exudes a strange charisma. Borne reminds Rachel of the marine life from the island nation of her birth, now lost to rising seas. There is an attachment she resents: in this world any weakness can kill you. Yet, against her instincts—and definitely against Wick’s wishes—Rachel keeps Borne. She cannot help herself. Borne, learning to speak, learning about the world, is fun to be with, and in a world so broken that innocence is a precious thing. For Borne makes Rachel see beauty in the desolation around her. She begins to feel a protectiveness she can ill afford.

"He was born, but I had borne him."

But as Borne grows, he begins to threaten the balance of power in the city and to put the security of her sanctuary with Wick at risk. For the Company, it seems, may not be truly dead, and new enemies are creeping in. What Borne will lay bare to Rachel as he changes is how precarious her existence has been, and how dependent on subterfuge and secrets. In the aftermath, nothing may ever be the same.
New Book About Manson Murders Coming 2019

LINKS TO CLICK

Inspiring Reads for Recent Graduates
Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness
~Amazon~ 
Three months after George Saunders gave a graduation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of The New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders’s words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the way is an inspiring message from one of today’s most influential and original writers.

In Defense of Keeping A Journal  

A Literary Guide to Twin Peaks

FEATURED SHORT STORIES 

“The Great Disaster” by Alanna Schubach

“Wild Beating Hearts,” a story by Megan Cummins

"Wasted State" by Lena Valencia

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Waiting on Wednesday Issue #14: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff

May 24, 2017
InToriLex, Weekly Feature, Waiting on Wednesday, InToriLex, Thomas Dunne Books

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, Hosted at Breaking the SpineIt spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Godsgrave, The Nevernight Chronicle #2, Jay Kristoff, InToriLex
Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)
Assassin Mia Corvere has found her place among the Blades of Our Lady of Blessed Murder, but many in the Red Church ministry think she’s far from earned it. Plying her bloody trade in a backwater of the Republic, she’s no closer to ending Consul Scaeva and Cardinal Duomo, or avenging her familia. And after a deadly confrontation with an old enemy, Mia begins to suspect the motives of the Red Church itself.

When it’s announced that Scaeva and Duomo will be making a rare public appearance at the conclusion of the grand games in Godsgrave, Mia defies the Church and sells herself to a gladiatorial collegium for a chance to finally end them. Upon the sands of the arena, Mia finds new allies, bitter rivals, and more questions about her strange affinity for the shadows. But as conspiracies unfold within the collegium walls, and the body count rises, Mia will be forced to choose between loyalty and revenge, and uncover a secret that could change the very face of her world.

Set in the world of Nevernight, which Publishers Weekly called “absorbing in its complexity and bold in its bloodiness,” Godsgrave will continue to thrill and satisfy fantasy fans everywhere.

OUT SEPTEMBER 5, 2017 
I really enjoyed Nevernight, the first book in this series. It included a talking shadow cat, footnotes and plenty of action. But there was some controversy about how Maori culture and people were represented. The author was called out on some misconceptions and he did not address the issues well. Despite that I'm going to continue on with the series. Authors behaving badly happens and I will continue to mention this caveat in my reviews, but I don't want to completely write him off.
What are You Anxiously Waiting On? 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jay Kristoff is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, THE ILLUMINAE FILES and THE LOTUS WAR. He is the winner of four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over thirty countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 13030 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
He does not believe in happy endings.
Website  Twitter

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Book Scoop May 12- May 20, 2017

May 20, 2017
Book Scoop, InToriLex
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories

HEADLINES


Lovecraft Country
The critically acclaimed cult novelist makes visceral the terrors of life in Jim Crow America and its lingering effects in this brilliant and wondrous work of the imagination that melds historical fiction, pulp noir, and Lovecraftian horror and fantasy

Chicago, 1954. When his father Montrose goes missing, twenty-two year old Army veteran Atticus Turner embarks on a road trip to New England to find him, accompanied by his Uncle George—publisher of The Safe Negro Travel Guide—and his childhood friend Letitia. On their journey to the manor of Mr. Braithwhite—heir to the estate that owned Atticus’s great grandmother—they encounter both mundane terrors of white America and malevolent spirits that seem straight out of the weird tales George devours.

At the manor, Atticus discovers his father in chains, held prisoner by a secret cabal named the Order of the Ancient Dawn—led by Samuel Braithwhite and his son Caleb—which has gathered to orchestrate a ritual that shockingly centers on Atticus. And his one hope of salvation may be the seed of his—and the whole Turner clan’s—destruction.

A chimerical blend of magic, power, hope, and freedom that stretches across time, touching diverse members of one black family, Lovecraft Country is a devastating kaleidoscopic portrait of racism—the terrifying specter that continues to haunt us today.


LINKS TO CLICK



Best Short Story Collections to Read Now 
The World to Come
~Amazon~ 
These ten stories ring with voices belonging to--among others--English Arctic explorers in one of history's most nightmarish expeditions, a young contemporary American negotiating the shockingly underreported hazards of our crude-oil trains, eighteenth-century French balloonists inventing manned flight, and two mid-nineteenth-century housewives trying to forge a connection despite their isolation on the frontier of settlement. In each case the personal is the political as these characters face everything from the emotional pitfalls of everyday life to historic catastrophes on a global scale. In his fifth collection, Shepard makes each of these wildly various worlds his own, and never before has he delineated anything like them so powerfully.


FEATURED SHORT STORIES

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