Book Scoop March 10- March 17, 2017

March 17, 2017
Book Scoop, Book News, Links to Click, InToriLex
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 

In Honor of the Ides of March

 HEADLINES

No One Can Pronounce My Name
~Amazon~ 
In a suburb outside Cleveland, a community of Indian Americans has settled into lives that straddle the divide between Eastern and Western cultures. For some, America is a bewildering and alienating place where coworkers can’t pronounce your name but will eagerly repeat the Sanskrit phrases from their yoga class. Harit, a lonely Indian immigrant in his midforties, lives with his mother who can no longer function after the death of Harit’s sister, Swati. In a misguided attempt to keep both himself and his mother sane, Harit has taken to dressing up in a sari every night to pass himself off as his sister. Meanwhile, Ranjana, also an Indian immigrant in her midforties, has just seen her only child, Prashant, off to college. Worried that her husband has begun an affair, she seeks solace by writing paranormal romances in secret. When Harit and Ranjana’s paths cross, they begin a strange yet necessary friendship that brings to light their own passions and fears.

Reminiscent of Angela Flournoy’s The Turner House, Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish, and Jade Chang’s The Wangs vs. the World, No One Can Pronounce My Name is a distinctive, funny, and insightful look into the lives of people who must reconcile the strictures of their culture and traditions with their own dreams and desires.
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Under Fire
F. Scotts Fitzgerald Short Story Savages Publishing Industry

LINKS TO CLICK

Women Writer's on Life Changing Books Read in Their Twenties
The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories
~Amazon~ 
Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of such contemporary masters of supernatural fiction as Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, and Kelly Link, who introduces this edition of Carter's most celebrated book, published for the seventy-fifth anniversary of her birth. In The Bloody Chamber—which includes the story that is the basis of Neil Jordan's 1984 movie The Company of Wolves—Carter spins subversively dark and sensual versions of familiar fairy tales and legends like "Little Red Riding Hood," "Bluebeard," "Puss in Boots," and "Beauty and the Beast," giving them exhilarating new life in a style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition.
Books for Mathletes and Pie Lovers 

Amazing Novels You Can Read in A Day

Poet Activists Throughout the Years  

25 Books for Teens By Black Women Writers
Allegedly
~Amazon~ 
Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?

FEATURED SHORT STORIES

“Nadia and Saeed” by Mohsin Hamid

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the princess saves herself in this one by amanda lovelace

March 13, 2017
the princess saves herself in this one, amanda lovelace, Book Review, InTorilex
Published By: Andrews McMeel Publishing on March 23, 2017
Format Read: Paperback Edition (208 pages)
Genre: Poetry/ Tragedy/ Contemporary
Series: Standalone
Source: Purchased
Rating: FIVE STARS
The Princess Saves Herself in This One
~Amazon~
  "Ah, life- the thing that happens to us while we're off somewhere else blowing on dandelions & wishing ourselves into the pages of our favorite fairy tales."

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

The negative reviews about this book, remind me that some people will not accept art as is. Whether this is formatted for Tumblr, has nothing to do with how you view the art within. This is a book of poetry where the author barred her soul, so it's hard for me to get why other people wouldn't celebrate the honesty, instead of focusing on the casing. A new version of the fairy tale is created to walk us through the author's hardships and abuse she faced with family and friends. Between heart wrenching descriptions of pain, are encouragement for hope and change. These are short but well crafted stories, that I related too and relished.
you
did
absolutely
nothing
to deserve it
-fuck rape culture
Everyone has gone through tragedy and sadness that they had to overcome. A big part of life is accepting the things we can't change and learning to move forward. These poems encouraged me to value my own art, and not stifle my creativity by believing what I have to offer is not enough. This book is a testament to the author's perseverance and her ability to rebuild herself after being broken. The many different topics and perspectives that she addresses makes her poetry relateable for everyone. 
i would like to look
into a mirror without immediately
                           looking away
-healing is ongoing II
 I would recommend this to everyone who enjoys poetry, and can deal with reading about the horrors or abuse. The themes, honesty and hope made me laugh, cry and want more out of life.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 amanda lovelace is a poetess & storyteller whose words have been shared in her local coffee shop & her tumblr blogs. she currently lives in new jersey with her fiancé. she received her A.A. in english literature from brookdale community college in 2014. as of 2016, she is working toward her B.A. in english literature & sociology at kean university. what she will do next, nobody knows-not even her. for now, you can find her reading anything she can get her hands on, writing while she should probably be paying attention in class, thinking about writing but not actually writing, drinking an inordinate amount of coffee, & blogging about books. on top of all this she is a lover of all things cat-related as well as a staunch mermaid enthusiast. she considers herself to be a feminist & a social justice advocate. you can also find her as ladybookmad on twitter, instagram, & tumblr
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The Never-Open Desert Diner by James Anderson

The Never-Open Dessert Diner, Book Review, InToriLex, James Anderson
Published By: Crown on March 22, 2016
Format Read: Hardcover Edition (304 pages)
Genre: Contemporary/ Mystery/ Thriller
Series: Standalone
Source: BloggingforBooks
Rating:THREE POINT FIVE STARS
The Never-Open Desert Diner
~Amazon~ 
A singularly compelling debut novel, about a desert where people go to escape their past, and a truck driver who finds himself at risk when he falls in love with a mysterious woman.

Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-traveled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert's inhabitants, Ben's visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years.

Ben's routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she's fleeing something in her past — a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth — but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.

As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who've laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire's pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery — what really happened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?

In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling, The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

This was a quirky exploration of people with dark secrets and memorable flaws. Ben Jones is an engaging protagonist, who feels comfortable with people hiding themselves because his own history is a mystery. He was left by his Mother and raised by adopted parents, but theorizes he is Native American and Jewish. Ben makes light of the bizarre people he encounters while delivering packages, to people who don't keep actual mailing addresses. The peculiar characters surprised me with their motives and actions.  For example a preacher who carries a huge wooden cross along the highway, and has pretend smoking breaks with Ben when he sees him.
"Like most people who said they wanted change, all I wanted was enough change to keep everything the same, only better."
While I enjoyed the character descriptions it was hard for me to relate to the characters or situations described. Walt is a elderly man who has endured tremendous personal tragedy, and shows affection through violence and silence, Ben has a tenuous relationship with him. Claire, Ben's love interest, is eccentric cello musician. Ben and Claire fall for each other fantastically, which I enjoyed reading about. These characters stumble upon each other early on, but the plot moves slowly and doesn't pick up steam until the last third of the book. The well described characters, unique setting and story line kept me interested, but not empathetic. I appreciated the author's inclusion of non-white main characters and illustration of why it's important not to trample on otherness. But the author wasn't able to make wonderful characters come together to form a wonderful story.
"That was the thing about curiosity, especially about people: the real questions never had answers that meant anything for very long. Pretty soon you had a bunch of new questions."
This isn't a book that ties up all of its loose ends, but the ending still was satisfying. The desert setting allowed the author to take advantage of the rough terrain and create fantasy in the real world seamlessly. The mystery elements only become important towards the end of the book, so I would describe this more as a character study. I enjoyed the book and was fascinated by the people described, but some things read more like filler than necessary. I would recommend this to readers who enjoy character driven contemporaries, that don't shy away from tragedy.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Anderson was born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. He received his undergraduate degree in American Studies from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and his Masters Degree in Creative Writing from Pine Manor College in Boston Massachusetts.

Undergraduate thesis: Word-man/Poet: The Poetry and Poetics of Lew Welch
Masters thesis: The Never-Entered Kingdom: Beyond Linguistics in the Rendering of the Literary Child in Adult Fiction

His first publication in a national magazine, a poem entitled Running It Down, occurred at age nineteen, in Poetry Northwest. The poem was later anthologized. His poems, short fiction, essays, reviews and interviews have appeared in Northwest Review, New Letters, The Bloomsbury Review, Solstice Magazine and many others.

In 1974, while still an undergraduate, Anderson founded Breitenbush Books, a book publisher specializing in literature and general interest trade titles. From 1974 to 1991 Anderson served as publisher and executive editor. Breitenbush received many awards for its books, including three Western States Book Awards, juried by Robert Penn Warren, Elizabeth Hardwick, N. Scott Momaday, Jonathan Galassi, Jorie Graham, Denise Levertov, William Kittredge and others. Notable authors published include Mary Barnard, Bruce Berger, Clyde Rice, Naomi Shihab Nye, Michael Simms, William Greenway, John Stoltenberg, Sam Hamill and Gary Miranda.

From 1995 to 2002 Anderson co-produced documentary films, including Tara’s Daughters, narrated by Susan Sarandon. The film, which won Best Documentary at the New York Film Festival, chronicled the plight of Tibetan women refugees as carriers of Tibetan culture in the diaspora.
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Book Scoop March 3- March 10, 2017

March 10, 2017
Book Scoop, Book News, Links, InToriLex
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 

Happy Women's History Month

HEADLINES

America's First Writer's Museum to Open in May

Elena Ferante's Naples Novels Headed to TV 

Kerry Washington to Adapt Mothers

The Mothers
~Amazon~ 
A dazzling debut novel from an exciting new voice, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community—and the things that ultimately haunt us most. Set within a contemporary black community in Southern California, Brit Bennett’s mesmerizing first novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition. It begins with a secret.

“All good secrets have a taste before you tell them, and if we’d taken a moment to swish this one around our mouths, we might have noticed the sourness of an unripe secret, plucked too soon, stolen and passed around before its season.”

It is the last season of high school life for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty. Mourning her own mother’s recent suicide, she takes up with the local pastor’s son. Luke Sheppard is twenty-one, a former football star whose injury has reduced him to waiting tables at a diner. They are young; it’s not serious. But the pregnancy that results from this teen romance—and the subsequent cover-up—will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are full-fledged adults and still living in debt to the choices they made that one seaside summer, caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, and dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they had chosen differently? The possibilities of the road not taken are a relentless haunt.

In entrancing, lyrical prose, The Mothers asks whether a “what if” can be more powerful than an experience itself. If, as time passes, we must always live in servitude to the decisions of our younger selves, to the communities that have parented us, and to the decisions we make that shape our lives forever.
America's First Romance and Erotica Book Store 

LINKS TO CLICK

18 Airbnbs for Book Lovers

Books to Read for International Women's Month

Lightning Rods
~Amazon~ 
“All I want is to be a success. That’s all I ask.” Joe fails to sell a single set of the Encyclopedia Britannica in six months. Then fails to sell a single Electrolux and must eat 126 pieces of homemade pie, served up by his would-be customers who feel sorry for him. Holed up in his trailer, Joe finds an outlet for his frustrations in a series of ingenious sexual fantasies, and at last strikes gold. His brainstorm, Lightning Rods, Inc., will take Joe to the very top — and to the very heart of corporate insanity — with an outrageous solution to the spectre of sexual harassment in the modern office.

An uproarious, hard-boiled modern fable of corporate life, sex, and race in America, Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods brims with the satiric energy of Nathanael West and the philosophic import of an Aristophanic comedy of ideas. Her wild yarn is second cousin to the spirit of Mel Brooks and the hilarious reality-blurring of Being John Malkovich. Dewitt continues to take the novel into new realms of storytelling — as the timeliness of Lightning Rods crosses over into timelessness.
Books to Celebrate Daylight Savings Times

9 Poets to Remember During Women's History Month 

FEATURED SHORT STORIES

“Fourteen Shakes the Baby” by Susann Cokal

“Streaks of White” by Zoe Venditozzi

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Book Scoop February 24- March 3, 2017

March 3, 2017
Book Industry News, Links to Sift Through & Short Stories 
Happy Women's History Month

HEADLINES

Richard Wright's Native Son In Production for Film

2017 Pen America Award Winners
The Verging Cities
~Amazon~ 
From undocumented men named Angel, to angels falling from the sky, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s gripping debut collection, The Verging Cities, is filled with explorations of immigration and marriage, narco-violence and femicide, and angels in the domestic sphere. Deeply rooted along the US-México border in the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, these poems give a brave new voice to the ways in which international politics affect the individual. Composed in a variety of forms, from sonnet and epithalamium to endnotes and field notes, each poem distills violent stories of narcos, undocumented immigrants, border patrol agents, and the people who fall in love with each other and their traumas.

The border in Scenters-Zapico’s The Verging Cities exists in a visceral place where the real is (sur)real. In these poems mouths speak suspended from ceilings, numbered metal poles mark the border and lovers’ spines, and cities scream to each other at night through fences that “ooze only silt.” This bold new vision of border life between what has been named the safest city in the United States and the murder capital of the world is in deep conversation with other border poets—Benjamin Alire Saenz, Gloria Anzaldúa, Alberto Ríos, and Luis Alberto Urrea—while establishing itself as a new and haunting interpretation of the border as a verge, the beginning of one thing and the end of another in constant cycle.
Who Should Star in the Underground Railroad's Film Adaptation  

Grindr's New Poet in Residence

What the Obama Book $65 Million Book Advance Means

LINKS TO CLICK 


Flavorwire's 15 Must Read Books for March

Great Essay's That Should Be Made into Film

Signature's Best Books of March 2017

The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
~Amazon~ 
A father protects his daughter from the legacy of his past and the truth about her mother's death in this thrilling new novel from the prize-winning author of The Good Thief.

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks.

Both a coming-of-age novel and a literary thriller, The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley explores what it means to be a hero, and the cost we pay to protect the people we love most.
Richest Book Deals of All Time

13 Immigrant Stories that Represent Our History 

FEATURED SHORT STORIES

Crazy They Call Me by Zadie Smith

The Thing Between Us By Julie Buntin

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God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems by Ishara Deen

March 2, 2017
God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems, Ishara Deen, Book Review, InToriLex
Published By: Deeya Publishing Inc on January 15, 2017
Format Read: Paperback Edition (236 pages)
Genre: Young Adult/ Mystery/ Contemporary
Series: Book One of An Asiya Haque Mystery
Source: Author Request
Rating: FOUR STARS
God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems
~Amazon~
LIKE NANCY DREW, BUT NOT...

Craving a taste of teenage life, Asiya Haque defies her parents to go for a walk (really, it was just a walk!) in the woods with Michael, her kind-of-friend/crush/the guy with the sweetest smile she’s ever seen. Her tiny transgression goes completely off track when they stumble on a dead body. Michael covers for Asiya, then goes missing himself.

Despite what the police say, Asiya is almost sure Michael is innocent. But how will she, the sheltered girl with the strictest parents ever, prove anything? With Michael gone, a rabid police officer in desperate need of some sensitivity training, and the murderer out there, how much will Asiya risk to do what she believes is right?

VERDICT:

REVIEW:

Part murder mystery, family drama, and romance this is a really engaging peak into a Muslim family's life. Asiya is not only adventurous but relateable and  really funny. Asiya's humor helped me deal with the uncomfortable feelings I had about her Mom repeatedly saying girls mixing with boys brings Satan. This short book, made me feel a range of emotions while reading, and I was happy to care about the characters described. Micheal is Asiya's friend who has lived a hard life, and brings up important life experiences that are glossed over in many young adult books.
"He just didn't get what it was like to have to protect every ounce of freedom he had because he was a guy he was afforded way more than I was despite being four years younger."
Asiya tries to abide by her strict Muslim parents rules, investigate a murder and deal with teenage hormones brought on by her first crush. While there was plenty that happened plot wise, the short chapters and flow of the narrative worked together seamlessly. Asiya grows up fast in this short book and has to confront some clear insensitivity and hostility that is directed at her religion and family. She stands up to the opposition she faces bravely, is smart, and could serve as a role model to young readers.
"I patiently reminded myself that the circumference at my thighs had as much to do with muscle as it did fat. And that Nasreen Aunty's life was the stuff of my personal nightmares, so I should feel sorry for her." 
This book was genre bending and memorable. I would recommend this to everyone who wants to take lighthearted peak into a Muslim family's life. Now more then ever readers should look for and read about people who are being targeted and marginalized in our society. I look forward to keeping up with this series as it continues.

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ishara Deen, author of God Smites and Other Muslim Girl Problems, is also a copywriter and grad-school dropout. She did finish a Master’s degree in World Lit, but still prefers a good mystery, fantasy, or romance over “literature.” She’s a hobby-collecting nerd, the latest of which are archery and bass guitar, and her goal in life is to write and publish what scares her, because it’s likely to scare the people that put that fear in her even more.
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