The Long and the Short of it

In the past couple weeks we saw some big-time book award lists announced. The National Book Award released their 2017 Longlist, and the Man Booker Prize finally announced their shortlist finalists. (You may remember seeing their longlist from a couple months ago.)

Some of the selections are Bookloft Staff Picks! (We're obviously rooting for those to win.)

CLICK THE ICONS below to be taken to the lists for each award:


Read some more information about each award below:

The National Book Award

"Established in 1950, the National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation, a nonprofit organization. A pantheon of such writers as William Faulkner, Marianne Moore, Ralph Ellison, John Cheever, Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth, Robert Lowell, Walker Percy, John Updike, Katherine Anne Porter, Norman Mailer, Lillian Hellman, Elizabeth Bishop, Saul Bellow, Donald Barthelme, Flannery O’Connor, Adrienne Rich, Thomas Pynchon, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Alice Walker, Charles Johnson, E. Annie Proulx, and Colum McCann have all won the Award." (From

The Man Booker Prize

"First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is recognised as the leading prize for literary fiction written in English. The list of former winners features many of the literary giants of the last four decades: from Iris Murdoch to Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan to Hilary Mantel. The rules of the prize were changed at the end of 2013 to embrace the English language ‘in all its vigour, its vitality, its versatility and its glory’, opening it up to writers beyond the UK and Commonwealth." (From

Michelle Cuevas Double-Book Release Party!

The Bookloft is proud to host the book release party on Saturday, September 30th at 3:00pm for Michelle Cuevas' TWO newest children's books, The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole, and Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow. Michelle, acclaimed author of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles and Confessions of an Imaginary Friend,  is one of our favorite children's authors! And she will be here to sign her new books and to chat with readers young and old!

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

"'A pet black hole can be your light in the darkest dark...'

Caring for a black hole is rather complicated. Eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez has to learn the hard way, when a black hole follows her home from NASA one day, and seems to want to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything it touches, which is rather frustrating but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around. Especially the ones that remind her of her dad, who died recently and left a cosmically vast space in her heart.

But the black hole ends up accidentally swallowing something too precious to lose. Now Stella herself must go deep inside to embark on an epic, interstellar adventure. After all, her whole world is at stake.

Who knew having a pet black hole could cause so much trouble?"

Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow

"'A brave shadow finds a more colorful life in this joyous picture book by the acclaimed author of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles and illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers.'

Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either . . . until the day he pops free, and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. And as he enjoys his first colorful day—singing, dancing, and playing—other shadows watch him, and they become brave, too. The frog's shadow takes the shape of a prince, the dragonfly's shadow that of a dragon. Even the rock's shadow gets in on the excitement. But what will become of the timid beings their shadows have left behind? Will they finally be inspired to find their own daring?"

(descriptions from

About the Author

Michelle Cuevas is the author of the national bestseller The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, illustrated by Caldecott medalist Erin E. Stead, Confessions of an Imaginary Friend: A Memoir by Jacques Papier, which is being developed into an animated feature film by Fox, Beyond the Laughing Sky illustrated by Julie Morstad, and The Masterwork of a Painting Elephant illustrated by Ed Young. Forthcoming books in 2017 and 2018 include Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow illustrated by Sydney Smith, The Town of Turtle illustrated by Catia Chien, and a new novel about a girl with a pet black hole. 

Michelle graduated from Williams College and holds a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of Virginia, where she received the Henry Hoyns Fellowship.

Her books have been translated into over 20 languages worldwide. 

She is a native of Berkshire Country, Massachusetts.

Event address: 
332 Stockbridge Rd
The Bookloft
Great Barrington, MA 01230
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399539138
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - September 12th, 2017

Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow Cover Image
By Michelle Cuevas, Sydney Smith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525429692
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - September 12th, 2017

Two New Berkshire-Based Novels Are Here

Authors and publishers have heard your cries for some more mainline fiction set in The Berkshires! Here are two new novels that take place right here in Western Massachusetts:

Time's Betrayal

"By a Berkshire lake on a September morning in 1953, John Davenport Alden III, classical archaeologist, war hero, and blue-blooded New England Yankee, hugged his two-year- old son, took a last drag on his Lucky Strike, and walked away from his life. A year later, his body was returned by the KGB. John Alden was not only exposed as a CIA agent, but branded by some in the Agency as a traitor. His young son, Peter Alden, was condemned to grow up in the shadow of a man he barely knew....David Adams Cleveland unfolds the turbulent saga of four generations of Aldens—from Peter to his great-grandfather, a Civil War general and railroad builder—and the Williams clan, their idealistic cousins and sometime bitter rivals. Anchored in historic moments from the Battle of Antietam to the fall of the Berlin Wall, this sweeping family drama encompasses many of the contradictions of the American experiment, including the plague of racism, American exceptionalism, and the triumph and tragedy of America’s intervention on the world stage in wars and conflicts throughout the 20th century." (From the Publisher)

David Adams Cleveland is the author of two previous novels, With a Gemlike Flame and Love’s Attraction, a Barnes & Noble best-seller. His most recent art history book, A History of American Tonalism, won the Silver Medal in Art History in the Book of the Year Awards, 2010, and Outstanding Academic Title, 2011, from the American Library Association. He also works as an art adviser with his son Carter Cleveland, founder of, a website dedicated to making all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. He and his wife live in New York.

Meet author David Adams Cleveland! On Wednesday, October 25th, at 3:00pm he will be here at The Bookloft to for an informal book-signing and a meet & greet event! Consider yourself invited.


The Locals

"Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife, Karen, and their young daughter, Haley? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter. Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11 he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round "secure location" from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people's money. The collision of these two men's very different worlds - rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy - is the engine of Jonathan Dee's powerful new novel....Here are the dramas of twenty-first-century America - rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism - played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town. The Locals is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time." (From the Publisher)

Jonathan Dee is the author of six previous novels, most recently A Thousand Pardons. His novel The Privileges was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize and winner of the 2011 Prix Fitzgerald and the St. Francis College Literary Prize. A former contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, a senior editor of The Paris Review, and a National Magazine Award-nominated literary critic for Harper's, he has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. He lives in Syracuse, New York.


The Bedside Pile

Know whose Staff Picks you like? Now you can find out what your favorite Lofters are currently reading! Though they may not always make it to our esteemed Staff Picks, as informed booksellers, we choose what we read carefullyand devour them quickly!