New this week at the MA Library: teenage girls who must kill or be killed, race and romance in comics, and Black women mathematicians.
Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix and Michael Rogalski
Weird things are going down at the Cleveland, Ohio, branch of Orsk, an Ikea-like superstore. Furniture is being broken over night and the security cameras don’t show what’s causing the damage. Three employees volunteer to work the graveyard shift to determine who or what is behind the vandalism, and the situation soon devolves. Part haunted house horror and part comedy, the book comes in the form of a mail-order catalogue, complete with a store map, home delivery forms, and product illustrations.
Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
Into every generation three queens are born: an elemental, a naturalist, and a poisoner. The sisters are separated as children and raised by powerful families in each magical field. On their sixteenth birthday, the queens are brought together to celebrate before having one year to kill the others. Whoever is left standing will rule the Island of Fennbirn until the next set of triplets are born. For many decades the poisoners have controlled the island, but their queen, Katharine, is weak and frail. The naturalists’ queen, Arsinoe, is also nearly giftless and is unable to command nature or animals. The priestesses running the Temple have sided with Mirabelle, a talented elemental. Love triangles test friendships, loyalties are betrayed, and adults plot against their wards in this dark, epic, YA fantasy.
Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen
Nettie Lonesome is a half-Black, half-Native American teenage girl living in a historical fantasy version of the Western United States, a land where shapeshifters, unicorns, and harpies are real. After a frightening encounter with a vampire, Nettie escapes from the white couple who treat her like a slave and takes on a male identity as a cowboy on a nearby ranch. Circumstances push her into the employment of the U.S. Marshals, a band of federal agents who hunt and kill supernatural monsters. Along the way Nettie confronts gender, sexual, and racial identities and the different ways people engage with social conformity. She is destined to do battle a powerful evil, and she must learn everything she can about her magical world before it’s too late.
Afterlife with Archie vol. 1: “Escape from Riverdale” by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Francesco Francavilla
When Jughead’s beloved pup Hot Dog is tragically killed, Juggie enlists Sabrina the Teenage Witch for necromancy help. They revive Hot Dog, but at a terrible cost. Jughead is the first to turn and soon the zombie plague spreads throughout Riverdale. Archie, Betty, Veronica, and a handful of other Riverdalians must make terrible moral and ethical choices and decide where the lines lie between loyalty, friendship, survival, and murder.
Bitch Planet vol. 1: “Extraordinary Machine” by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro
Set in an alternate version of our world where the patriarchy rules all, Bitch Planet tells the story of a group of women sent to a prison moon for non-compliance. Anything can make a woman non-compliant: being fat, disabled, queer or trans, a person of color, feminist, sexually adventurous, opinionated, too religious, etc. The women imprisoned on “Bitch Planet” are forced to compete on a gladiator-style reality show. One woman in particular, Kamau Kogo, teams up with her fellow inmates to take down the system from the inside.
Black Panther vol. 1: “A Nation Under Our Feet” by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze
T’Challa holds the mantle of Black Panther, a ceremonial title of the King of Wakanda, a wealthy, powerful, technologically advanced nation in Africa that produces the world’s only supply of Vibranium. Although Wakanda was never conquered, numerous external threats have shaken the kingdom. After his sister Shuri’s death, T’Challa returned to his throne, but in his absence his people have become restless. A superhuman terrorist group calling itself The People foments an uprising against the monarchy. Conversations on Black power, police brutality, political corruption, and intersectional feminism abound.
Fresh Romance vol. 1: with stories by Kate Leth and Arielle Jovellanos, Sarah Vaughn and Sarah Winifred Searle, Sarah Kuhn and Sally Jane Thompson, Marguerite Bennett and Trungles, and Kieron Gillen and Christine Norrie
A comic book anthology of five romance stories by new, unknown, or independent creators. “School Spirit” is about two high school girls, one of whom is a witch, in a closeted lesbian relationship and struggling with the ramifications of keeping such an important secret. “Ruined” is a Jane Austen-like tale about a young, upper class woman in the Regency period in England with a reputation stained by a previous inappropriate relationship who is forced to marry a man with an equally poor reputation as a womanizer. In “The Ruby Equation,” Ruby is a transdimensional being who needs to successfully play matchmaker to a certain number of couples in order to earn a promotion when she inadvertently falls in love. “Beauties” is a twist on Beauty and the Beast, and “First, Last and Always” is a brief story about a woman contemplating whether or not she is ready for long-term commitment.
Hellboy: Masks and Monsters by Mike Mignola
This Hellboy trade includes two oneshots. In “Hellboy/Batman/Starman” Hellboy teams up with DC superheroes Batman and Starman to rescue Ted Knight, the first Starman from an underground group of Nazis who want to use him to raise a dead god. In “Ghost/Hellboy” Hellboy works with Ghost, the superhero name of the dead vigilante Elisa Cameron, to stop Alal the Destroyer from bringing about the apocalypse.
The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America by Ai-Jen Poo and Ariane Conrad
By 2035, 11.5 million Americans will be over the age of eighty-five, more than double today’s 5 million, living longer than ever before. To enable all of us to age with dignity and security in the face of this coming Age Wave, our society must learn to value the care of our elders. The process of building a culture that supports care is a key component to restoring the American dream, and, as Ai-Jen Poo argues, will generate millions of new jobs and breathe new life into our national ideals of independence, justice, and dignity.This book from the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance offers bold solutions, such as long-term care insurance and cultural change to get all of us to value care, which is already at the heart of a movement transforming what it means to grow old in the United States. At the intersection of our aging population, the fraying safety net, and opportunities for women and immigrants in the workforce, The Age of Dignity maps an integrated set of solutions to address America’s new demographic and economic realities.
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
Presents the stories of six transgender teens, as well as a glossary of terms and a list of resources.
The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson
Explores the politics of race and racism as they relate to Obama’s presidency. Dyson discusses biracialism in the Black power structure, the confrontation between Black exceptionalism and the concept of a “post-racial” America, with mentions of mass incarceration, police brutality, and religion.
Bruce Davidson published by Aperture Foundation
Presents an overview of the work of Bruce Davidson from 1955-2013, including the well-known photographs he took in Harlem in the mid-1960s. Also includes essays about the photographer and the importance of his work.
Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class by Scott Timberg
Examines the history and present state of the arts, the economic, technological, and social conditions that impact the culture of the middle class, and how the wealthy disrupt that flow of creativity and adequate financial compensation. In particular, Timberg discusses creators like musicians and the music industry, journalists and other members of the media, architects, and artists.
Emperor’s Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei published by the San Francisco Asian Art Museum
Presents the catalog of the 2016 exhibition at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, and includes essays on key Chinese dynasties and the arts they created.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Presents a history of the Black women mathematicians who worked at NASA during the space race. These “human computers” lived under the Jim Crow laws of Virginia while working at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory from World War II through the Cold War, with particular focus on Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
Describes Jahren’s life as a scientist from her childhood in rural Minnesota to the successes and failures of her professional career and personal life.
Nomads as Agents of Cultural Change: The Mongols and their Eurasian Predecessors by Reuven Amitai
Presents a collection of essays about the Mongols and other nomadic peoples, discussing the effects these groups had on Eurasian history, including China, Syria, Iran, Persia, Russia, Mongolia, and more.
The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted by Mike Lofgren
Presents a critical assessment of the Republican Party, arguing that it betrayed the ideals for which it once stood. Also criticizes the Democratic party and the dysfunction of the American political process generally. Includes information on anti-intellectualism, federal budgets, George W. Bush, Congress, the Constitution, corporations, culture wars, defense spending, the economy, health care, the war in Iraq, the media, national security, Barack Obama, taxes, voting and more.
Red Light to Starboard: Recalling the Exxon Valdez Disaster by Angela Day
Presents a history of the 1989 Exxon Valedez oil spill in Prince William Sound and its consequences on the Alaskan environment. Includes information on the Alaskan government agencies, the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company, the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline, the fishing industry, herring, salmon, the town of Valdez and more.
Sewing for Fashion Designers by Anette Fischer
Presents an introduction about how to design and sew clothing for fashionable wear.