I didn’t mention all the books I picked up at BEA in my recap posts - and I’m not going to do that here either - but I do want to spotlight a few that are particularly exciting or special to me. Be sure to tune in next Friday when I highlight the BEA books that got Kiddo really excited!
Zora and Me, by Victoria Bond and TR Simon
"Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost — and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after — young Zora’s tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn’t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself."
I love Zora Neale Hurston so I was pretty excited to see this book.
Heart of Lies, by M.L. Malcolm
"Leo Hoffman was born with a gift for languages. When his dreams for the future are destroyed by World War I, the dashing young Hungarian attempts to use his rare talent to rebuild his life, only to find himself inadvertently embroiled in an international counterfeiting scheme. Suddenly Leo is wanted across the European continent for a host of crimes, including murder. Left with no options, he must escape to Shanghai with his lover, carrying with him a stolen treasure that could be his salvation . . . or his death warrant. But the gangsters who control the decadent Asian city have no intention of letting him outrun his past. And when the Japanese invade, one wrong move could cost Leo Hoffman everything he holds dear. An epic tale of intrigue, passion, and adventure, Heart of Lies heralds the arrival of a remarkable writer."
I met Ms. Malcolm at BEA and she really got me excited about this book.
Forbidden Creatures: Inside the World of Animal Smuggling and Exotic Pets, by Peter Laufer
I'm a non-fiction fan and this one looked fascinating.
The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, by Joyce Magnin
"Sid Phillips knew he was a long way from his home in Mobile, AL, when he plunged into the jungles of Guadalcanal in August 1942. A mortarman with H-Company (the same company as Helmet For My Pillow author Robert Leckie), 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division, Sid was only a 17-year-old kid when he entered combat. Some two years later, when he returned home, the island fighting on Guadalcanal and Cape Gloucester had turned Sid into an "Old Timer" by Marine standards, and more; he came home a man. These are his memoirs, the humble and candid tales that Sid collected during a Pacific odyssey spanning half the globe, from the grueling boot camp at Parris Island to the coconut groves of Guadalcanal to the romantic respite of Australia. In this true story, Sid recalls his encounters with icons like Chesty Puller, Gen Vandergrift, Eleanor Roosevelt, and his boyhood friend, Eugene Sledge. He remembers a sense of helplessness as Japanese bombers and battleships rained steel on him, the brutality of the tropical elements, and the haunting notion of being expendable. This is the story of how Sid stood shoulder to shoulder with his Marine brothers to discover the inner strength and deep faith necessary to survive the dark, early days of World War II in the Pacific."
WWII is a huge part of my family background and I generally enjoy reading about it.
Crossing Antartica, by Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster
"The story of the first transverse of Antarctica by dogsled and ski, a 4000-mile, seven-month (July 1989-March 1990) journey by an expedition of six men from six different countries, is told in expanded journal form by co-leader Steger. His team survived whiteouts, crevasses, 100F windchill, erratic supplies, a pregnant sled dog, a monotonous diet, a hostile National Science Foundation, frostbite and runny noses, and were rewarded by magnificent scenery and a sense of personal and scientific accomplishment. This above-average polar account keeps the reader moving along with the hardy six."
I'm a huge fan of polar exploration books so this was a must-have for me.
Sudan, by Ninie Hammon and Art Ayris
"Sudan 2000. The largest nation in Africa has been turned into an immense killing field, with over two million lives destroyed in a brutal and ongoing civil war. Human rights journalist Ron Wolfson travels to the heart of Africa to investigate reports of modern-day slavery. When a raid by Bedayene guerrillas results in the capture of a young girl, her father, a simple village farmer, mounts an against-all-odds attempt to redeem his daughter. While Ron’s brother, a U.S. congressman, seeks to force international political pressure, Ron becomes an eyewitness to the horrors of slavery. His life will never be the same as he joins the father in his desperate search for the young girl—before it’s too late. Based on a true story."
I was actually picking up books for Kiddo at this booth and the rep suggested taking this one for myself. Again, not one I might have picked up on my own but it looks good.
Those are the books that I'm super excited about from BEA. Did any catch your eye?
For more Friday Finds please visit Should Be Reading.