New Books for the Week of 10/31/16

New this week at the MA Library: Kamala Khan saves the day, magical and/or secretive teenagers, the Khmer empire, and asexuality.



Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor
Sunny, an albino Nigerian-American teenager, and two of her friends discover they have magical abilities. The more Sunny learns about her new powers, the bigger the struggle to keep it a secret from her family. Just as she starts to settle into her abilities, the magical authorities enlist her and her friends to locate an ultra-powerful serial killer.

Beast by Brie Spangler
Known as Beast, fifteen-year-old Dylan is bigger, taller, and hairier than his classmates. After accidentally falling off his roof, he’s assigned to group therapy for self-harmers. There he meets Jamie, a funny, clever young woman with whom Beast is instantly smitten. As they get to know each other, Beast realizes Jamie has a secret, something so personal she won’t share with the rest of the group: she’s transgender.

Labyrinth Lost (Book 1 of Brooklyn Brujas series) by Zoraida Córdova
Alex is the middle daughter in a family of brujas, the Latin American version of a witch. Her mother and sisters use magic in their daily lives, but after a traumatic experience with the spirit of her dead aunt and the mysterious disappearance of her father, Alex hates her powers. When a cantos, or spell, to destroy her magic backfires and sends her family to Los Lagos, a sort of bruja purgatory, Alex and a neighborhood brujo teenage boy named Nova descend into the underworld to bring them back.

The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati
“Zero” is the name Catherine gives to the overwhelming depression triggered by her bipolar disorder. The last time Zero visited her, she tried to commit suicide. Fearing Zero’s next visit, Catherine stockpiles medications in preparation for another suicide attempt. But before she departs this mortal coil, she sets about to complete a bucket list. With the help of her family, friends, and a new course of treatment, her sense of isolation wanes and for the first time in her life Catherine must confront the idea of having a real future.



Ms. Marvel vol 2: “Generation Why” by G. Willow Wilson
Kamala Khan, aka Ms. Marvel, continues her fight with the Inventor with the help of Wolverine. She also encounters Inhumanity and Lockjaw takes an interest. As Kamala learns more about her past, the Inventor threatens her future. She and her new friends must stop him before he takes over even more of her personal life.

Ms. Marvel vol 3: “Crushed” by G. Willow Wilson
Kamala Khan’s strict parents won’t let her go to her high school Valentine’s Day dance, but Ms. Marvel makes an appearance when Loki shows up. When a cute new boy mysteriously arrives in town Kamala’s love life gets even more complicated, especially when it turns out he’s not what he first seemed.

Ms. Marvel vol 4: “Last Days” by G. Willow Wilson
Kamala Khan has taken on criminals, supervillains, and bad friends, but she’s up against her biggest challenge yet with “Secret Wars,” a Marvel crossover event featuring the destruction of much of the multiverse. Ms. Marvel teams up with her hero Captain Marvel to rescue her brother and save her city as the universe collapses around her.

Ms. Marvel vol 5: “Super Famous” by G. Willow Wilson
Ms. Marvel gets an invitation to join the Avengers, but first Kamala Khan needs to protect Jersey City from gentrification by a corrupt development company. On top of that, her school work is suffering from spending all her time on superhero adventures, and her personal life is getting way too complicated. When she creates a Kamala Korps of automatons to help her fight crime, they prove to be more trouble than they’re worth.



The Art of Maynard Dixon by Donald J. Hagrety
Presents the work of Maynard Dixon, an American painter who specialized in depicting the American West, bridging the usual gap between realism and modernism.

Crows by Candace Savage
Presents poems, essays and artwork about crows.

The Gay 90’s by Mark Ryden
Presents an exhibition catalog of the 21st century work of Mark Ryden, as well as an essay explaining the importance of his work and contribution to the Lowbrow art movement. This collection uses the 1890’s as an inspiration and then presents people and objects in unexpected ways.

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
Written in a casual and witty style, this book describes the medical issues faced by soldiers, sailors, and wounded veterans, as well as the technology and policies developed to prevent casualties, injury, and death.

The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality by Julie Sondra Decker
Offers a detailed look at asexuality as written by a member of the asexual community. Includes discussions on asexuality as a sexual identity or orientation, various aspects of the spectrum, such as gray-ace, demisexual, aromanticism, etc., discrimination within and without the queer community, representation in pop culture, and myths about asexuality and asexual people. This book also provides tips on coming out and how to be an ally.

The Khmer Empire: Cities and Sanctuaries from the 5th to the 13th Century by Claude Jacques and Philippe Lafond
Presents a well-illustrated analysis of the history and architecture of early and medieval Cambodian temples and cities, with a focus on the Khmer period. Includes information on Angkor, Angkor Wat, Banteay Chmar, Bayon, Buddha images, fire shrines, hospitals, inscriptions, Jayavarman VII, the Khmer language, Koh Ker, libraries, linga, nagas, Suryavarman II, preah Khan, Vishnu, Shiva, and more.

Shirin Neshat: Facing History edited by Melissa Chiu
Presents the photography of Iranian photographer Shirin Neshat, as well as essays about her work. Also includes an interview with the artist.

Understanding Asexuality by Anthony F. Bogaert
Offers a general overview written from a psychology perspective of asexuality and contrasts it with other sexual identities. Includes quotes from asexual people, commentary on the difference between sexual and romantic attraction, and a discussion about the shift from treating asexuality as a psychological disorder to a valid identity.



“Anxiety, Depression and the American Adolescent”
Published by Time Magazine, November 7, 2016.

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