New this week at the MA Library: young women with iffy choices in men, teenage melodrama, and genocide.
Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente
Teenage Marya Morevna fantasizes about being rescued from her dreary life in Lenin-controlled Russia by a rich, handsome young man. With the arrival of Koschei the Deathless, she thinks her dream has come true but he’s really a nightmare in disguise. Koschei is a menacing figure in Russian folklore, a villain who often steals away brides. Here, he steal Marya, but she isn’t about to let him railroad her into submission. As their romance blooms, the relationship grows more complicated until life and death are on the line.
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Amanda Hardy is the new girl in town. A senior at the high school in Lambertville, Tennessee, Amanda keeps to herself and harbors a secret about her past life. When she meets Grant Everett she at first keeps her distance, but the more time they spend together the closer they become. Amanda finds herself torn between being keeping her secret and revealing to Grant that she used to be Andrew.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Ove is a grumpy, short-tempered older man living in Sweden. He maintains a strict routine and staunch principles. Time has not been kind to him, but when a new family moves in next door, his solitary life is turned upside down. Ove has a heart of gold under his gruff exterior, and his lively neighbors show him that life is better when it’s shared.
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
In a post-apocalyptic future, a man calling himself the Snowman (once known as Jimmy), lives as the last human amongst the Crakers, genetically engineered, culturally primitive humanoid creatures. Snowman recalls how everything fell apart, starting with a tempestuous romance between him, his best friend, Crake, and Oryx, the beautiful and elusive woman they both loved. As scientific discoveries turn against their creators, life as we know it is destroyed.
Archie vol 1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples
A reboot of the long-running comic, “Archie” is about teenagers Archie Andrews and his best friends dealing with young adult issues of romance, social status, and interpersonal relationships. Veronica Lodge is a new student at Riverdale High School and befriends Betty and falls head over heels for Betty’s beau, Archie. Jughead tries to interfere with the love triangle but only makes things worse.
Jughead vol 1 by Chip Zdarsky and Erica Henderson
Forsythe Pendleton Jones III, or Jughead to his friends, enjoys hanging out with Archie, Betty, and Veronica, annoying his teachers, and chowing down on burgers at Pop’s Soda Shoppe. But when the hot-headed new principal at Riverdale High School tries to crack down on junk food, Jughead takes action.
ODY-C vol 1: “Off to Far Ithicaa” by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward
A genderbent retelling of Homer’s “The Odyssey” with a fantasy/space opera twist.
An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe by Benjamin Madley
Reveals the rarely told history of the state and federal government’s systematic extermination of the California Indian population between 1846 and 1873. Madley describes in general Native American life in California pre-contact, then discusses how legislation was enacted to support the state-sanctioned killing of Indigenous people.
Byzantine Imperial Guardsmen 925-1025: The Taghmata and the Imperial Guard by Raffaele D’Amato
Presents a history of an elite military guard of the Byzantine Empire.
Coal: A Human History by Barbara Freese
Presents a history of coal and the evolution of how humans have used it over time. Coal’s importance as a milestone to industrialization is explored on a global scale, as is the pollution it creates and the economic and environmental concerns it fuels.
“They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else”: A History of the Armenian Genocide by Ronald Grigor Suny
Presents a history of the Armenian Genocide, a controversial event in Turkish and Armenian history. Suny describes a century of ethnic cleansing and human rights violations against the Armenians by the Turkish government, with special focus on the 1915-1916 genocide.
The Walls of Constantinople: AD 324-1452 by Stephen Turnbull
Presents a history of the fortifications surrounding Constantinople (modern Istanbul), including the Walls of Theodosis, and the sieges they endured.
The Way to the Spring: Life and Death in Palestine by Ben Ehrenreich
Examines the social conditions of Palestinians living in the the small village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah in the West Bank and their conflicts with encroaching Jewish settlers from Israel. Written from journalist Ehrenreich’s perspective, he looks at Palestinian resistance, Israeli blockades and military assaults, and Jewish settlements.