New this week at the MA Library: young women go vigilante, hidden histories revealed, and the gender revolution.
Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on a Serious Earth by Grant Morrison and Dave McKean
When the inmates, lead by the Joker, take over Arkham Asylum and threaten to kill the staff, Commissioner Gordon entreats Batman to talk to them. Batman goes up against a host of notorious DC villains and the mystery of the asylum’s mad founder unfolds. Soon, Batman’s life literally hangs in the balance and it’s up to Two Face to decide his fate.
Batgirl vol 1: “The Darkest Reflection” by Gail Simone and Ardian Syaf
A few years after a vicious attack by the Joker left her paralyzed, Barbara Gordon has finally regained her ability to walk. Now she’s ready to prove to her mentors Batman and Nightwing, as well as her father, Commissioner Gordon, that she’s ready to put on her superhero costume and get back to work. Her first case hits a little too close to home when a villain gets hold of a hit list with her name on it.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer vol 1: “The Long Way Home” by Joss Whedon and Georges Jeanty
Season 8 of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” goes from television show to comic book. Since the destruction of the Hellmouth at the end of season 7, Buffy and her motley crew of new slayers have reorganized into an underground demon-fighting army. Things get dicey when an old enemy reappears and Dawn goes through some literal growing pains. One of the “Buffy” decoys is going through some pain of her own.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer vol 2:. “No Future For You” by Brian K. Vaughan, Joss Whedon, and Georges Jeanty
When one of Buffy’s cadre of Slayers-in-training goes rogue and uses her powers for nefarious deeds, Giles recruits Faith to reel her in. With the promise of a clean slate if she can stop the wayward Slayer, Faith has little choice in the matter.
Atlanta Burns (book 1 of the “Atlanta Burns” series) by Chuck Wendig
Atlanta Burns cannot abide letting bad men to terrible things to those who don’t deserve it, a belief she gained through first hand experience. After rescuing a pair of classmates from a group of bullies, she gets dragged into the tragic death of another teen. Everything thinks it’s suicide, but Atlanta suspects foul play. Things get even more complicated when she uncovers a rural dogfighting ring. She may be a teenage girl, but Atlanta is quite the vigilante with her own brand of teenage justice.
Blackbirds (book 1 of the “Miriam Black” series) by Chuck Wendig
Miriam Black can touch a person and see how they’re going to die, a terrible consequence of the tragic deaths she witnessed as a teenager. As an abrasive, caustic adult she hitchhikes across the country using people’s deaths as opportunities to steal from them. Until she meets Louis, a truck driver who dies screaming her name. This time Miriam decides to change the future and save his life but fate has other plans. Her actions bring her to the attention of a sadistic serial killer who uses Louis and her own psychic abilities against her.
The Sellout by Paul Beatty
This Swiftian satire tells the story of a struggling city farmer and his controversial plans to save his hometown. Born in the hamlet of Dickens, an “agrarian ghetto” on the southern outskirts of Los Angeles, the narrator recounts his childhood as a subject in racially charged psychological studies. He was raised by a controversial sociologist single father who was killed in a police shooting without completing his oft-mentioned memoir. Fueled by the deceit and disrepair of Dickens, the narrator, with the help of the last surviving Little Rascal, Hominy Jenkins, decides to reinstate slavery and segregate the local high school.
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
In the years after the Voodoo Wars, the fragile detente between human and Others (vampires, werewolves, demons, witches, and other magical beings) may be about to break. Sunshine, a young woman who works at her parents’ bakery, is kidnapped and dropped right in the middle of a battle between rival vampires. In her fight for survival she discovers her latent magic powers and that she can use them to help the vampire Constantine who saves her life. Their symbiotic relationship becomes intimate once she returns home and is press ganged into working for the Special Other Forces, an elite group that polices Others.
The Beauty and the Sorrow: An Intimate History of the First World War by Peter Englund
Presents a history of the World War I as seen through the eyes of twenty men and women around the world.
Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military Industrial Complex by Michael Hiltzik
Reveals the life Ernest Lawrence and his nuclear physics work which lead to inventing the cyclotron and winning the Nobel Prize, as well as his involvement in the Manhattan Project, the development of the hydrogen bomb, the call to end the arms race, and the expansion of the military-industrial complex.
Empire of Things: How We Became a World of COnsumers, from the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann
Presents an economic and social history of the world since 1500 with a focus how trade, consumerism, and empire building generated and created modern globalization.
The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future by Frank Browning
Presents an assessment of how gender is being redefined in the 2010’s, and argues that gender is a biologically complex spectrum.
Frank Stella: A Retrospective by Michael Auping
Presents the catalog of the 2016 exhibition on Frank Stella, which was held at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. Includes essays commenting on his work, as well as an interview with the artist.
The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez
Examines the open secret of the enslavement of Native Americans from the time of Columbus through the nineteenth century from the perspective that it was mass slavery more so than epidemics that lead to their decimated population.
The Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention by Alexander Monro
Offers a history of the development and implementation of paper and how its emergence played a role in socio-political revolutions in China and Europe. Includes discussions on Han China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Abbasid Caliphate, the Koran, the Silk Road, the Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution.
Representative American Speeches, 2015-2016
Presents a collection of speeches from college graduations, the 2016 election campaign, civil rights, social justice, current events from 2015-16 and global issues.
Sex on Earth: A Journey Through Nature’s Most Intimate Moments by Jules Howard
Presents an analysis of why and how organisms throughout the plant and animal kingdoms seek to reproduce.
Taxicab Geometry: An Adventure in Non-Euclidian Geometry by Eugene F. Krause
Offers a simple non-Euclidean geometry and explores some of its practical applications through graphs, research problems, and exercises. Includes selected answers.
To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police by Norm Stamper
Presents a critique of law enforcement, outlining the tensions between the police and citizens they are meant to serve, and offers a proposal for community-based policing to help alleviate the tensions. Includes information on cops, police abuse, drug wars, Ferguson (Missouri), fear, stop and frisk, police hiring, the Department of Justice, the Los Angeles Police Deaprtment (LAPD), the New York Police Department (NYPD), police misconduct, mental illness, police oversight, police power, protests, quotas, racism, reforms, police safety, police shootings, tasers, training, trust, unions, women in the police force, and more.
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
Examines the history, meaning, and art of comics and cartooning.
“The Gender Revolution,” special issue of National Geographic, January 2017
This special thematic issue contains several articles on the changing perception of gender roles, identity, and equality around the world.
“Never Go Back,” published in Ms. Magazine, Fall 2016
This publication was produced in response to Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.