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The Moment of Everything Paperback – September 2, 2014

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My Struggle: Book Four
Eighteen-year-old Karl Ove moves to a tiny fishing village in the Arctic Circle to work as a school teacher. As the nights get longer, the shadow cast by his father's own sharply increasing alcohol consumption, also gets longer. Read the full description
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Editorial Reviews


"Anyone with a romantic streak and a soft spot for independent bookstores (and crabby cats) will want to curl up in a cozy corner with this sweet and tender novel."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Shelly King's novel is any true book-lover's dream. Clever, honest, and satisfying, the book follows Maggie Dupres as she tries to find her way after being laid off from her Silicon Valley job. . . . I couldn't help but love 'The Moment of Everything.'"—The Baton Rouge Advocate

"One that gave this reader a few hours of smiles and pleasure. . . a great end to summer reading!"—Hudson Valley News

"Breezy, clever and at turns both touching and funny."—The Wichita Eagle

"King's charming debut will strike a chord with book lovers who have whiled away many an hour in a beloved local bookstore."—Booklist

"Sweet . . . the loving description of the classic used bookstore at the heart of the tale [is] described in such perfect detail, down to the musty scent. Readers may be inspired to run out and spend the afternoon in their own local shop."—Romantic Times magazine

"Shelly King has drawn up an exceptionally well-written book that has so much heart . . . There are enough twists and turns to keep you in suspense (and still in the dark) that you have to keep reading, telling yourself another 20 pages won't hurt."—

"If the cast of Girls moved to the Silicon Valley and got tech jobs, if the correspondence in You've Got Mail took place in the pages of a used book, you might find The Moment of Everything at this hypercool intersection of retro appeal and modern smarts. Shelly King has drawn a perfect heroine for this very moment -- snarky enough to make you laugh and yet satisfyingly full of hope and soul. Thoroughly rooted in the now, but achingly in love with the past, The Moment of Everything is a book lover's book -- a warm-hearted illustration of the continuing relevance of books and bookstores in our modern culture that's sure to make readers fall in love."—Lydia Netzer, author of Shine, Shine, Shine and How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky

"Populated with an endearing, eccentric cast of characters, and told with sharp Southern humor, The Moment of Everything is a gift for those who believe in the magic of bookstores...and in the power of books."—Tracy Guzeman, author of The Gravity of Birds

"Shelly King is among my all-time favorite writers. Her prose brims with beauty and her plots always pack a well-earned punch."—Lolly Winston, author of Good Grief

"In Shelly King's charming novel, a young woman finds love letters in an old copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover. Her quest to discover their source leads her in and out of the many worlds of Silicon Valley, and the surprising twists and turns of love and self-discovery. We're the lucky readers who get to come along for this delightful ride. Ms. King writes with humor, passion and great intelligence."—Ellen Sussman, author of the New York Times bestselling novel French Lessons and The Paradise Guest House

About the Author

Shelly King is a native Southerner who packed her bags and moved to Silicon Valley at the beginning of the Internet boom. She works for a major software company as a social media strategist and information architect. Her stories have been published in the GW Review, Epiphany, Slow Trains, the Dos Passos Review, and the Coe Review. She lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains with her husband, two big dogs, and a disapproving cat.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455546798
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455546794
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #434,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in South Carolina, the daughter of a college professor and a social worker. At age nine, I saw the movie Moby Dick on TV (the one with Gregory Peck) and decided I wanted to read the book. Then I realized I didn't understand a word, so I asked my mother to read it to me and explain it along the way. And she did. Remember that the next time your child asks for something. Be grateful it's not Moby Dick. And if it is, bless you.

I graduated from the University of Tennessee and went to work for a long string of software companies. I'm a big geek at heart. I still have a day job I love working for a large software company.

I live in the Santa Cruz mountains in a house surrounded by redwoods with my husband, John, our two big dogs, Reba and Tyson, and a very disapproving cat, Scout.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lloyd Russell - The Book Sage on September 4, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Folks, we're only 8 days away from the publication date of Shelly King's The Moment of Everything, as well as her launch that same evening at 7:00 at Books, Inc. in Mt. View. After reviewing books for my blog for over 3.5 years, I am still blown away by the tremendous amount of excellent authors we have in the Bay Area; not to mention all of the debut novels I have read and enjoyed. In this case, not only did I thoroughly enjoy Shelly's book, we're even going to feature her and The Moment of Everything at our Recycle Book Club meeting, in downtown Campbell, on October 28. Does that tell you how much I liked the book? Do you want to know what it's about? Of course you do. Here is our old pal Goodreads to give us a rundown:

Maggie Duprès, recently "involuntarily separated from payroll" at a Silicon Valley start-up, is whiling away her days in The Dragonfly's Used Books, a Mountain View institution, waiting for the Next Big Thing to come along.
When the opportunity arises for her to network at a Bay Area book club, she jumps at the chance -- even if it means having to read Lady Chatterley's Lover, a book she hasn't encountered since college, in an evening. But the edition she finds at the bookstore is no Penguin ClassicsChatterley -- it's an ancient hardcover with notes in the margins between two besotted lovers of long ago. What Maggie finds in her search for the lovers and their fate, and what she learns about herself in the process, will surprise and move readers.

Here is a quote from my notes (yes, I take notes): "Funny and well-written without the paragraphs or the descriptions being too long." (I don't have to be grammatically correct in my note-taking!) I appreciate humor as long as it doesn't take away from the poignancy of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Barmy on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
I found much to enjoy in this novel. The Dragonfly bookstore is wonderfully formed -- its haphazard used book selection, an OPEN sign where the letters slide to read NOPE when closed, a mean tempered cat, and its fair share of quirky customers.

Ms. King beautifully captures Silicon Valley and having been in high-tech for many years, I kneel to her bulls eye references - she perfectly captures the geeks seeking obscure science fiction paperbacks, gaming parties and especially the snooty meeting of the "Silicon Valley Women's Executive Book Club" in a pristine state-of-the-art kitchen. The mystery of the love notes written in the margins of a battered old copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover is enchanting.

The plot is multi-layered and fast paced -- there's lots going on. Maggie only half-attempts to find another job and spends her days reading romance novels. She tries to fend off her narcissistic mother and is having a torrid love affair (or is it?). To try and stay sane she starts to work at the Dragonfly - attempting to bring it into the 21st century and compete with big book store across the street. On top of all this, she is obsessed with mystery of the love notes in the book. Sometimes Ms. King loses control of these story lines and they becomes disjointed but keep reading because the next chapter usually gets the reader back on course...and I'll caution you, the ending is very predictable

But in the end, I found the best part of The Moment of Everything was Ms. King's engaging and witty voice. I found myself both grinning, and at times, giggling throughout this book. Given the realm of grim novels out there (Dystopia anyone?) a novel that makes you smile is perhaps the best recommendation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ryan J. Dejonghe TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 2, 2014
Format: Paperback
Shelly King has stolen my heart: books, love, and fantastic writing.

A few months ago a great book called THE STORIED LIFE OF A.J. FIKRY came out. It had everything I enjoy in a book; it was essentially a love letter to people who love books. The only faults may be that the story was straight-forward and a bit short. Predictable, if you will. Author Shelly King takes these premises and fills in any shortcoming in her newest book THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING. Indeed, she has offered everything.

As a tech lover and fellow nerd, I found much to relate to within King’s writing. Her experiences working within Silicon Valley shine through, from everything from Farmville references, to beating tunes on Guitar Hero, to programming the latest iPHone app. King won me over with her written description of becoming “the mayor” of a local independent book store. Two wins: books and tech.

I couldn’t put this down. I know, I know, you’ve heard that cliché before. But seriously, King’s writing displays such a warmth and comfortable feeling that you’ll instantly connect. Go ahead, check out the first page of the preview: I bet you can’t resist turning to the second page. King taunts you, by telling you that books aren’t the magic elixir everyone says they are. And yet…

The plot. I had no idea where King was taking me. Sure, I read the description and even peeked at the end-of-book group discussion guide, but the story was wonderful (and as mentioned before…addictive). There are several levels of characters, both the ones we meet in the margins of a classic and heavily used book, and the ones frequenting the book store. Each one is relatable and recognizable to our everyday life.

Bottom line, this is a great story written incredibly well.
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