New Books for the Week of 10/25/16

New this week at the MA Library: two teenagers must defend themselves from witches, an Avenger builds himself a family, how billionaires have influenced the Republican party, President Grant’s war on the Lakota, and so much more…

 

Fiction

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin (Book 1 of The Broken Earth series)
Essun comes home one day only to discover her husband brutally beat to death their son and kidnapped their daughter. The empire of the Mighty Sanze suddenly collapses when its greatest city is destroyed by a madman frenzied with vengeance. In the heartland of the world’s only continent, a great red rift has ripped open, spewing so much ash the sky darkens. In the Stillness, orogenes – people who wield the power of the earth itself as a weapon – spread fear across the land. As Essun remembers who she really is, she chases after her daughter.

Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
A single mother sets out for Alaska with her two children, figuring that it is about as far as she can get without a passport. She rents an old RV, and at first their trip feels like a vacation , but as they drive, pushed north by the ubiquitous wildfires, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined.

The Obelisk Gate by N. K. Jemisin (Book 2 of The Broken Earth series)
In the Stillness, a land of perpetual apocalypse, everyone is defined by what role they play in maintaining society. The orogenes – people who wield the power of the earth itself as a weapon – have no place in this world and are either killed or sent to a reeducation facility for training. Essun from “The Fifth Season” was one once Damaya, a child sent away and who became Syenite before changing her name yet again. She still has not found her daughter, Nassun, but the girl’s growing power threatens the stability of the world. When Alabaster Tenring, the destroyer of the world, asks Essun to complete a task, her answer will determine the fate of the world.

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
Miel, a Latina girl, and her best friend Samir, an Italian-Pakistani trans boy, are the odd kids in town. Rumor has it that Miel, who has roses growing from her wrists, spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Locals know Sam as the  kid with a mysterious background who paints moons and hangs them in trees. Sam and Miel steer clear of the four Bonner girls rumored to be witches, but the sisters have dark plans for Miel. They want her roses, convinced their scent can make anyone fall in love, and will use all of Miel’s secrets to get what they want. This is a magical realism novel about love, friendship, and identity.

 

Comics

Silk vol 0: “The Life and Times of Cindy Moon” by Robbie Thompson and Stacey Lee
In high school, Cindy Moon, a classmate of Peter Parker, was also bitten by a radioactive spider. But her superpowers got her imprisoned and tormented for years before finally gaining her freedom and becoming the superhero Silk. Dealing with an awkward, fumbling romance with Peter, the search for her missing family, and working through her PTSD from her imprisoned life, Cindy finds catharsis in fighting crime. She crosses Black Cat’s path, and the encounter nearly pushes her over the edge. The final issue ties her story into the “Secret Wars” crossover event.

The Vision vol 1: “Little Worse than a Man” by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta
The avenging android, the Vision, wants to be human so he builds himself a family and moves to the suburbs. While the Vision’s brain patterns are molded after Wonder Man, he models his newly-created wife, Virginia, after the Scarlet Witch and their two children, Vin and Viv, are formed by a composite of the two brain patterns. All they want is to be normal, but they haven’t yet figured out what that means. The Visions have to power to kill everyone around them, and the desire for normalcy becomes a desperate plea for help, no one is safe. The past comes back to haunt them, friends betray each other’s trust, and the bodies pile up.

 

Non-Fiction

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer
Presents a history of how American politics has been influenced by funding by conservatives since 1970. Includes information on particular groups and individuals (Americans for Prosperity, Cato Institute, Charles Koch, David Koch), as well as donor summits, elections, campaign finance, libertarians, the Citizens United court case, taxes, think tanks, and more.

German Voices: Memories of Life During Hitler’s Third Reich by Frederic C. Tubach
Presents both a memoir and a collection of interviews and letters that documents everyday life in Nazi Germany. Includes information on the 1936 Olympic Games, Hitler Youth, the Holocaust, and German soldiers.

The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World by Trevor Cox
Presents an investigation into sound in the natural and man-made world. Includes information on reverberation, echoes, acoustics, bird song, clapping, silence, and more.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Presents the posthumously published memoir of a young physician who developed lung cancer and died. Includes his reflections on patients, dying, the meaning of life, family, and more.

 

Articles

“Grant’s Uncivil War: The President Promised Peace with Indians – and Covertly Hatched the Plot That Provoked One of the Bloodiest Conflicts on the Plains” by Tim O’Brien

“Those Magnificent Women and their Typing Machines: Who Were the Daredevil Reporters Who Faked Their Way into Asylums, Labored in Sweatshops and Raked the Muck of Early 20th-Century America?” by Kim Todd


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