Briefly Noted

Children & YA
Jessica Young
HMH Books for Young Readers
40 pages

"Spy Guy is a spy—but not a very good one. He's too loud, too squeaky, and in need of a good disguise. All Spy Guy wants is to figure out the secret to spying. But as the Chief says, that he must discover for himself. With a lot of trial and even more error, can Spy Guy figure out the secret to spying?"

--From the publisher

Leslie Lytle
Hedgehog and Fox
288 pages

"A stunning muckraker for our times, this brilliant novel delivers to us rural America’s struggle against corporate agriculture through the eyes of one woman, a wife and young mother catapulted unwillingly to the front lines by her husband’s dying words: “Promise me, Berta, promise me you’ll keep the farm going.” Locked in a David and Goliath conflict with powers well beyond her control, a fatherless child to provide for, and their own survival dependent upon the fragile lives of thousands of baby chicks, Berta must find a path forward where her son can know and love the farm the way his father had."

--From the publisher

Hampton Sides
480 pages

"For all their human weaknesses, the book’s larger-than-life characters...pull the reader into the story, and the grandeur of the polar landscape—as well as the terrible struggle for survival—keeps them there... In the Kingdom of Ice is a book to make readers nostalgic for the late-nineteenth century’s golden age of arctic exploration, even as it makes reviewers nostalgic for the late-twentieth century’s great magazine adventure writing. Hampton Sides has captured the best of both, turning history into nail-biting suspense."

--Michael Ray Taylor's review for Chapter 16

T.R.C. Hutton
University of Kentucky Press
444 pages

"Eudora Welty once said that 'One place comprehended can make us understand other places better.' Nowhere has local history proved so vital to understanding region as it has for Appalachian scholarship, as this latest entry in the field amply demonstrates. Like the best of those 'one place' studies, Hutton’s masterful portrait of Kentucky’s Breathitt County offers both compelling stories and insightful analysis of the multiple forms of violence that played out in this most notorious of highland South locales, while shedding considerable light on how such brutal power struggles played out elsewhere in the region and well beyond."

--John C. Inscoe, author of Race, War, and Remembrance in the Appalachian South

The Masterpiece Within: Five Key Life Skills To Becoming A Living Work Of Art
Balboa Press
372 pages

"Creating an adventurous and meaningful life story is oftentimes difficult due to the layers of self-defeating personal beliefs we accumulate through our life experiences. The Masterpiece Within: Five Key Life Skills To Becoming A Living Work Of Art, is a comprehensive, yet reader-friendly life skills manual filled with motivational stories, pop culture references from the film, music, and sports worlds, alongside ageless wisdom from ancient masters that help us chip away layers of fear, anger, discouragement, childishness, shame, low self-esteem, guilt, and numerous other learned traits that blind us to our own innate beauty."

--From the publisher

Karen Kingsbury
Howard Books
336 pages

"From #1 New York Times bestselling author Karen Kingsbury comes the second novel in a brand-new series about divine intervention and the trials and triumphs of life—the dramatic story of a woman desperate to find deeper meaning in her life."

--From the publisher

James Agee
Melville House
240 pages

"The intimate letters, collected by Father Flye after Agee’s death, form the most intimate portrait of Agee available, a starkly revealing account of the internal and external life of a tortured twentieth-century genius. Agee candidly shares his struggles with depression, professional failure, and a tumultuous personal life that included three wives and four children."

--From the publisher

Eric Jerome Dickey
368 pages

"For one night, a couple checks in to an upscale hotel. The pair seem unlikely companions, from opposing strata of society, but their attraction is palpable to all who observe them—or overhear their cries of passion. In the course of twelve hours, con games, erotic interludes, jealousy, violence, and murder swirl around them. Will they part ways in bliss, in sorrow, or in death?"

--From the publisher