New Arrivals

Check here every Thursday for a selection of the week's new books, media, and more!

Thursday, February 6, 2020
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Murder Your Darlings: And Other Gentle Writing Advice from Aristotle to Zinsser

Roy Peter Clark

With so many excellent writing guides lining bookstore shelves, it can be hard to know where to look for the best advice. Should you go with Natalie Goldberg or Anne Lamott? Maybe William Zinsser or Stephen King would be more appropriate. Then again, what about the classics—Strunk and White, or even Aristotle himself?

Thankfully, your search is over. In Murder Your Darlings, Roy Peter Clark, who has been a beloved and revered writing teacher to children and Pulitzer Prize winners alike for more than thirty years, has compiled a remarkable collection of more than 100 of the best writing tips from fifty of the best writing books of all time.

With a chapter devoted to each key strategy, Clark expands and contextualizes the original author's suggestions and offers anecdotes about how each one helped him or other writers sharpen their skills. An invaluable resource for writers of all kinds, Murder Your Darlings is an inspiring and edifying ode to the craft of writing.

Nonfiction. Call number: 808.042 Cla. View in our catalog

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Show Them a Good Time: Stories

Nicole Flattery

A sense of otherworldly menace is at work in the fiction of Nicole Flattery, but the threats are all too familiar. Show Them a Good Time tells the stories of women slotted away into restrictive roles: the celebrity's girlfriend, the widower's second wife, the lecherous professor's student, the corporate employee. And yet, the genius of Flattery's characters is to blithely demolish the boundaries of these limited and limiting social types with immense complexity and caustic intelligence. Nicole Flattery's women are too ferociously mordant, too painfully funny to remain in their places.

In this fiercely original and blazingly brilliant debut, Flattery likewise deconstructs the conventions of genre to serve up strange realities: In Not the End Yet, Flattery probes the hilarious and wrenching ambivalence of Internet dating as the apocalypse nears; in Sweet Talk, the mysterious disappearance of a number of local women sets the scene for a young girl to confront the dangerous uncertainties of her own sexuality; in this collection's center piece, Abortion, A Love Story, two college students in a dystopian campus reconfigure the perilous stories of their bodies in a fraught academic culture to offer a subversive, alarming, and wickedly funny play that takes over their own offstage lives. And yet, however surreal or richly imagined the setting, Flattery always shows us these strange worlds from startlingly unexpected angles, through an unforgettable cast of brutally honest, darkly hilarious women and girls.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Fla. View in our catalog

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The Coldest Warrior

Paul Vidich

With the release of the Rockefeller Commission report on illegal CIA activities in 1975, LSD is linked to Wilson's death, and suddenly the Wilson case becomes news again. Wilson's family and the press are demanding answers, suspecting the CIA of foul play, and men in the CIA, FBI, and White House conspire to make sure the truth doesn't get out.

Enter agent Jack Gabriel, an old friend of the Wilson family who is instructed by the CIA director to find out what really happened to Wilson. It's Gabriel's last mission before he retires from the agency, and his most perilous as he finds a continuing cover-up that reaches to the highest levels of government. Key witnesses connected to the case die from suspicious causes, and Gabriel realizes that the closer he gets to the truth, the more he puts himself and his family at risk.

Mystery fiction. Call number: MFIC Vid. View in our catalog

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The Everything I Have Lost

Sylvia Zéleny

12-year-old Julia keeps a diary about her life growing up in Juarez, Mexico. Life in Juarez is strange. People say its the murder capital of the world. Dad's gone a lot. They can't play outside because it isn't safe. Drug cartels rule the streets. Cars and people disappear, leaving behind pet cats. Then Dad disappears and Julia and her brother go live with her aunt in El Paso. What's happened to her Dad? Julia wonders. Is he going to disappear forever? A coming-of-age story set in today's Juarez.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Agu. View in our catalog

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The Forgotten Girl

India Hill Brown

When eleven-year-old Iris sneaks out at night to make snow angels, she was not expecting to raise the ghost of Avery Moore, a girl her own age; but bringing to light the segregated and abandoned black cemetery seems like the perfect way to help Avery get the recognition she craves, and it will also be a good idea for the school project about the history of her small North Carolina town, where racial tensions are never far from the surface—only it seems that if Avery gets everything she wants Iris will join her as a ghost, best friends forever.

Youth fiction. Call number: J FIC Bro. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

Feb 6, 2020
Alexis
Thursday, January 30, 2020
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Humble Pi: When Math Goes Wrong in the Real World

Matt Parker

Our whole world is built on math, from the code running a website to the equations enabling the design of skyscrapers and bridges. Most of the time this math works quietly behind the scenes . . . until it doesn't. All sorts of seemingly innocuous mathematical mistakes can have significant consequences.

Math is easy to ignore until a misplaced decimal point upends the stock market, a unit conversion error causes a plane to crash, or someone divides by zero and stalls a battleship in the middle of the ocean.

Exploring and explaining a litany of glitches, near misses, and mathematical mishaps involving the internet, big data, elections, street signs, lotteries, the Roman Empire, and an Olympic team, Matt Parker uncovers the bizarre ways math trips us up, and what this reveals about its essential place in our world. Getting it wrong has never been more fun.

Nonfiction. Call number: 510 Par. View in our catalog

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Little Gods

Meng Jin

On the night of June Fourth, a woman gives birth in a Beijing hospital alone. Thus begins the unraveling of Su Lan, a brilliant physicist who until this moment has successfully erased her past, fighting what she calls the mind's arrow of time.

When Su Lan dies unexpectedly seventeen years later, it is her daughter Liya who inherits the silences and contradictions of her life. Liya, who grew up in America, takes her mother's ashes to China—to her, an unknown country. In a territory inhabited by the ghosts of the living and the dead, Liya's memories are joined by those of two others: Zhu Wen, the woman last to know Su Lan before she left China, and Yongzong, the father Liya has never known. In this way a portrait of Su Lan emerges: an ambitious scientist, an ambivalent mother, and a woman whose relationship to her own past shapes and ultimately unmakes Liya's own sense of displacement.

A story of migrations literal and emotional, spanning time, space and class, Little Gods is a sharp yet expansive exploration of the aftermath of unfulfilled dreams, an immigrant story in negative that grapples with our tenuous connections to memory, history, and self.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Jin. View in our catalog

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Riot Baby

Tochi Onyebuchi

Ella has a Thing. She sees a classmate grow up to become a caring nurse. A neighbor's son murdered in a drive-by shooting. Things that haven't happened yet. Kev, born while Los Angeles burned around them, wants to protect his sister from a power that could destroy her. But when Kev is incarcerated, Ella must decide what it means to watch her brother suffer while holding the ability to wreck cities in her hands.

Rooted in the hope that can live in anger, Riot Baby is as much an intimate family story as a global dystopian narrative. It burns fearlessly toward revolution and has quietly devastating things to say about love, fury, and the black American experience.

Ella and Kev are both shockingly human and immeasurably powerful. Their childhoods are defined and destroyed by racism. Their futures might alter the world.

Science fiction. Call number: SCIFIC Ony. View in our catalog

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Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

Nikki Grimes

In her own voice, acclaimed author and poet Nikki Grimes explores the truth of a harrowing childhood in a compelling and moving memoir in verse.

Growing up with a mother suffering from paranoid schizophrenia and a mostly absent father, Nikki Grimes found herself terrorized by babysitters, shunted from foster family to foster family, and preyed upon by those she trusted. At the age of six, she poured her pain onto a piece of paper late one night - and discovered the magic and impact of writing. For many years, Nikki's notebooks were her most enduing companions. In this accessible and inspiring memoir that will resonate with young readers and adults alike, Nikki shows how the power of those words helped her conquer the hazards - ordinary and extraordinary - of her life.

Teen nonfiction. Call number: YA 811.54 Gri. View in our catalog

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The Monster Hypothesis

Romily Bernard

Welcome to Bohring—home to 453 people, 2,053 alligators, and one monster curse.

Correction: home to 454 people, now that Kick Winter is living in the swamp Hollows with her Grandma Missouri, the town (fake) psychic. Bohring is anything but boring for Kick who has already blown a hole through the kitchen floor, befriended a chicken-eating gator, and discovered that the town's hundred-year curse is upon them.

It's the Bohring curse and all the kids are about to become monsters—or so the legend goes. People are worried-except for Kick. She knows there's a scientific explanation for everything, especially curses and monsters. But Kick is the new kid in school and she's determined to make a name for herself . . . by pretending to be psychic.

According to her calculations: one teeny-tiny life + (fake) psychic skills = popularity. But when kids start disappearing and glowing creatures start showing up, Kick's theory quickly evaporates in a puff of foul-smelling swamp gas. Can Kick use her (real) science smarts to prove the curse is a hoax? Or is it just-maybe-sort of-somehow possible the curse is here?

Youth fiction. Call number: J FIC Ber. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

Jan 30, 2020
Alexis
Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of My Stroke

David Talbot

Acclaimed writer, bestselling author, and founder of Salon magazine, David Talbot has brought us masterful and explosive headline-breaking stories for over 25 years with books like the New York Times bestsellers Brothers, The Devil's Chessboard, and nationally recognized Season of the Witch. Now for the first time, journalist and historian David Talbot turns inward in this intimate journey through the life-changing year following his stroke, a year that turned his life upside down, and ultimately, saved him.

Biography/memoir. Call number: BIOG Talbot. View in our catalog

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Follow Me to Ground

Sue Rainsford

Ada and her father, touched by the power to heal illness, live on the edge of a village where they help sick locals—or "Cures"—by cracking open their damaged bodies or temporarily burying them in the reviving, dangerous Ground nearby. Ada, a being both more and less than human, is mostly uninterested in the Cures, until she meets a man named Samson. When they strike up an affair, to the displeasure of her father and Samson's widowed, pregnant sister, Ada is torn between her old way of life and new possibilities with her lover—and eventually comes to a decision that will forever change Samson, the town, and the Ground itself.

Follow Me to Ground is fascinating and frightening, urgent and propulsive. In Ada, award-winning author Sue Rainsford has created an utterly bewitching heroine, one who challenges conventional ideas of womanhood and the secrets of the body. Slim but authoritative, Follow Me to Ground lingers long after its final page, pulling the reader into a dream between fairy tale and nightmare, desire and delusion, folktale and warning.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Rai. View in our catalog

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Lady Clementine

Marie Benedict

In 1909, Clementine steps off a train with her new husband, Winston. An angry woman emerges from the crowd to attack, shoving him in the direction of an oncoming train. Just before he stumbles, Clementine grabs him by his suit jacket. This will not be the last time Clementine Churchill will save her husband.

Lady Clementine is the ferocious story of the ambitious woman beside Winston Churchill, the story of a partner who did not flinch through the sweeping darkness of war, and who would not surrender either to expectations or to enemies.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Ben. View in our catalog

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The Amazing Life of Azaleah Lane

Nikki Shannon Smith, illustrated by Mari Lobo

Azaleah can't wait for her class field trip to the National Zoo in Washington D.C., especially when her teacher announces the chance to earn extra credit. But when Azaleah gets home, she quickly realizes extra credit isn't as easy as she thought. Azaleah's younger sister Tiana can't find Greenie, her stuffed animal, and she's sure he's been stolen. With Mama at the restaurant and Daddy at work on a big case, it seems Azaleah is the only one available to track down the stolen stuffie. Can Azaleah get to the bottom of the mystery in time to finish her extra credit?

Youth fiction. Call number: J FIC Smi. View in our catalog

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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Mai. View in our catalog

Jan 23, 2020
Alexis
Thursday, January 16, 2020
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Tacky's Revolt: The Story of an Atlantic Slave War

Vincent Brown

In the second half of the eighteenth century, as European imperial conflicts extended the domain of capitalist agriculture, warring African factions fed their captives to the transatlantic slave trade while masters struggled continuously to keep their restive slaves under the yoke. In this contentious atmosphere, a movement of enslaved West Africans in Jamaica (then called Coromantees) organized to throw off that yoke by violence. Their uprising—which became known as Tacky's Revolt—featured a style of fighting increasingly familiar today: scattered militias opposing great powers, with fighters hard to distinguish from noncombatants. It was also part of a more extended borderless conflict that spread from Africa to the Americas and across the island. Even after it was put down, the insurgency rumbled throughout the British Empire at a time when slavery seemed the dependable bedrock of its dominion. That certitude would never be the same, nor would the views of black lives, which came to inspire both more fear and more sympathy than before.

Tracing the roots, routes, and reverberations of this event across disparate parts of the Atlantic world, Vincent Brown offers us a superb geopolitical thriller. Tacky's Revolt expands our understanding of the relationship between European, African, and American history, as it speaks to our understanding of wars of terror today.

Nonfiction. Call number: 306.362 Bro. View in our catalog

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The Better Liar

Tanen Jones

Robin Voigt is dead. If Leslie had arrived at her sister's cramped Las Vegas apartment just hours earlier, this would have been their first reunion in a decade. In the years since Robin ran away from home as a teenager, Leslie has stayed in New Mexico, taking care of their dying father even as she began building a family of her own. But when their father passed away, Leslie received a rude awakening: She and Robin would receive the inheritance he left them together—or not at all. Now her half of the money may be beyond her grasp. And unbeknownst to anyone, even her husband, Leslie needs it desperately.

When she meets a charismatic young woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Robin—and has every reason to leave her past behind—the two make a reckless bargain: Mary will impersonate Robin for a week in exchange for Robin's half of the cash. But neither realizes how high the stakes will become when Mary takes a dead woman's name. Even as Mary begins to suspect Leslie is hiding something, and Leslie realizes the stranger living in her house, babysitting her newborn son, and charming her husband has secrets of her own, Robin's wild, troubled legacy threatens to eclipse them both.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Jon. View in our catalog

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A Beginning at the End

Mike Chen

Six years after a global pandemic wiped out most of the planet's population, the survivors are rebuilding the country, split between self-governing cities, hippie communes and wasteland gangs.In postapocalyptic San Francisco, former pop star Moira has created a new identity to finally escape her past—until her domineering father launches a sweeping public search to track her down. Desperate for a fresh start herself, jaded event planner Krista navigates the world on behalf of those too traumatized to go outside, determined to help everyone move on—even if they don't want to. Rob survived the catastrophe with his daughter, Sunny, but lost his wife. When strict government rules threaten to separate parent and child, Rob needs to prove himself worthy in the city's eyes by connecting with people again.Krista, Moira, Rob and Sunny are brought together by circumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose. Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.

Science fiction. Call number: SCIFIC Che. View in our catalog

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The Weight of Our Sky

Hanna Alkaf

Melati Ahmad looks like your typical movie-going, Beatles-obsessed sixteen-year-old. Unlike most other sixteen-year-olds though, Mel also believes that she harbors a djinn inside her, one who threatens her with horrific images of her mother's death unless she adheres to an elaborate ritual of counting and tapping to keep him satisfied.

A trip to the movies after school turns into a nightmare when the city erupts into violent race riots between the Chinese and the Malay. When gangsters come into the theater and hold movie-goers hostage, Mel, a Malay, is saved by a Chinese woman, but has to leave her best friend behind to die.

On their journey through town, Mel sees for herself the devastation caused by the riots. In her village, a neighbor tells her that her mother, a nurse, was called in to help with the many bodies piling up at the hospital. Mel must survive on her own, with the help of a few kind strangers, until she finds her mother. But the djinn in her mind threatens her ability to cope.

YA FIC Han. Call number: YA FIC Han. View in our catalog

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Gloria's Big Problem

Sarah Stiles Bright, pictures by Mike Deas

Gloria loves to sing, dance, and act in her bedroom, but not in public. No way. Gloria's big problem makes sure of that, following her wherever she goes and constantly reminding her that she's anxious and frightened, that she's not good enough, and that everyone will laugh at her. Anxious Gloria worries all the time, about everything. Until, one day, Gloria summons all her courage to try out for a community theater production. She marches herself to the audition, and her big problem marches right in behind her. She gets up on stage, and her big problem takes a seat in the front row and starts to laugh at her. And then at last she yells "STOP!", and her big problem shrinks to a little problem, and Gloria wins a part in the play.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Bri. View in our catalog

Jan 16, 2020
Alexis
Thursday, January 2, 2020
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Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Jessica McDiarmid

For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The corridor is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.

Journalist Jessica McDiarmid meticulously investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate in which Indigenous women and girls are overpoliced yet underprotected. McDiarmid interviews those closest to the victims—mothers and fathers, siblings and friends—and provides an intimate firsthand account of their loss and unflagging fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada—now estimated to number up to four thousand—contextualizing them within a broader examination of the undervaluing of Indigenous lives in the country.

Highway of Tears is a piercing exploration of our ongoing failure to provide justice for the victims and a testament to their families' and communities' unwavering determination to find it.

Nonfiction. Call number: 362.88 McDia. View in our catalog

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Dead Astronauts

Jeff VanderMeer

Jeff VanderMeer's Dead Astronauts presents a City with no name of its own where, in the shadow of the all-powerful Company, lives human and otherwise converge in terrifying and miraculous ways. At stake: the fate of the future, the fate of Earth—all the Earths.

A messianic blue fox who slips through warrens of time and space on a mysterious mission. A homeless woman haunted by a demon who finds the key to all things in a strange journal. A giant leviathan of a fish, centuries old, who hides a secret, remembering a past that may not be its own. Three ragtag rebels waging an endless war for the fate of the world against an all-powerful corporation. A raving madman who wanders the desert lost in the past, haunted by his own creation: an invisible monster whose name he has forgotten and whose purpose remains hidden.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Van. View in our catalog

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A Madness of Sunshine

Nalini Singh

On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that's left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement to not look back. But they can't run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.

It's not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

Romance fiction. Call number: ROMFIC Sin. View in our catalog

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How It Feels to Float

Helena Fox

Biz knows how to float. She has her people, her posse, her mom and the twins. She has Grace. And she has her dad, who tells her about the little kid she was, and who shouldn't be here but is. So Biz doesn't tell anyone anything. Not about her dark, runaway thoughts, not about kissing Grace or noticing Jasper, the new boy. And she doesn't tell anyone about her dad. Because her dad died when she was seven. And Biz knows how to float, right there on the surface—normal okay regular fine.

But after what happens on the beach—first in the ocean, and then in the sand—the tethers that hold Biz steady come undone. Dad disappears and, with him, all comfort. It might be easier, better, sweeter to float all the way away? Or maybe stay a little longer, find her father, bring him back to her. Or maybe—maybe maybe maybe—there's a third way Biz just can't see yet.

Debut author Helena Fox tells a story about love and grief, about inter-generational mental illness, and how living with it is both a bridge to someone loved and lost and, also, a chasm. She explores the hard and beautiful places loss can take us, and honors those who hold us tightly when the current wants to tug us out to sea.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Fox. View in our catalog

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Just in Case You Want to Fly

Julie Fogliano and Christian Robinson

just in case you want to fly
here's some wind
and here's the sky

Funny and sweet, told with lyrical text and bright, unexpected illustrations, Just in Case You Want to Fly is a celebration of heading off on new adventures—and of knowing your loved ones will always have your back when you need them.

A joyful, inclusive cast of children fly, sing, and wish their way across the pages, with everything they could ever need— a cherry if you need a snack, and if you get itchy here's a scratch on the back—to explore the world around them. Christian Robinson's bold illustrations bring out the humor and warmth of the poetic text, teasing out new meanings and adding delightful details that will have you turning the pages again and again.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Fog. View in our catalog

Jan 2, 2020
Alexis
Thursday, December 19, 2019
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The Wonders: The Extraordinary Performers Who Transformed the Victorian Age

John Woolf

On March 23, 1844, General Tom Thumb, just 25 inches tall, entered the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace and bowed low to Queen Victoria. On both sides of the Atlantic, this meeting marked a tipping point in the nineteenth century, and the age of the freak was born.

Bewitching all levels of society, it was a world of curiosities and astonishing spectacle—of dwarfs, giants, bearded ladies, Siamese twins, and swaggering showmen. But the real stories—human dramas that so often eclipsed the fantasy presented on the stage—of the performing men, women and children, have been forgotten or marginalized in the histories of the very people who exploited them.

In this richly evocative account, John Woolf uses a wealth of recently discovered material to bring to life the sometimes tragic, sometimes triumphant, always extraordinary stories of people who used their (dis)abilities and difference to become some of the first international celebrities.

Through their lives we discover afresh some of the great transformations of the age: the birth of show business, of celebrity, of advertising, and of "alternative facts" while also exploring the tensions between the power of fame, the impact of exploitation, and our fascination with "otherness."

Nonfiction. Call number: 791.109 Woo. View in our catalog

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The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution

Richard Wrangham

We Homo sapiens can be the nicest of species and also the nastiest. What occurred during human evolution to account for this paradox? What are the two kinds of aggression that primates are prone to, and why did each evolve separately? How does the intensity of violence among humans compare with the aggressive behavior of other primates? How did humans domesticate themselves? And how were the acquisition of language and the practice of capital punishment determining factors in the rise of culture and civilization?

Authoritative, provocative, and engaging, The Goodness Paradox offers a startlingly original theory of how, in the last 250 million years, humankind became an increasingly peaceful species in daily interactions even as its capacity for coolly planned and devastating violence remains undiminished. In tracing the evolutionary histories of reactive and proactive aggression, biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham forcefully and persuasively argues for the necessity of social tolerance and the control of savage divisiveness still haunting us today.

Nonfiction. Call number: 155.9 Wra. View in our catalog

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... And Other Disasters

Malka Older

This smart and moving collection of short fiction and poetry from acclaimed author Malka Older, examines otherness, identity and compassion across a spectrum of possible existence. In stories about an AI built for empathy, a corps of fighting midwives traveling to a new planet, and a young anthropologist who returns to study the cultures of a dying Earth, Older's characters grapple with what it means to belong and be othered, to cling to the past and face the future, all while navigating a precarious world, riddled with natural and man-made disasters.

Science fiction. Call number: SCIFIC Old. View in our catalog

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Dig.

A. S. King

The Shoveler, the Freak, CanIHelpYou?, Loretta the Flea-Circus Ring Mistress, and First-Class Malcolm. These are the five teenagers lost in the Hemmings family's maze of tangled secrets. Only a generation removed from being Pennsylvania potato farmers, Gottfried and Marla Hemmings managed to trade digging spuds for developing subdivisions and now sit atop a seven-figure bank account—wealth they've declined to pass on to their adult children or their teenage grandchildren. "Because we want them to thrive," Marla always says. What does thriving look like? Like carrying a snow shovel everywhere. Like selling pot at the Arby's drive-thru window. Like a first-class ticket to Jamaica between cancer treatments. Like a flea-circus in a double-wide. Like the GPS coordinates to a mound of dirt in a New Jersey forest. As the rot just beneath the surface of the Hemmings' precious suburban respectability begins to spread, the far-flung grandchildren gradually find their ways back to one another, just in time to uncover the terrible cost of maintaining the family name.

With her inimitable prose and keen insight into teenage experience, A.S. King explores how a corrosive culture of polite, affluent white supremacy tears a family apart and how one determined generation can save themselves.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Kin. View in our catalog

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Side by Side: A Celebration of Dads

Chris Raschka

King and Jester, Boat and Captain, Mountain and Climber... fathers and children are all of these things and more in Chris Raschka's tribute to this familial pair. Each stanza presents three scenarios in which the father and child's roles are subtly balanced. The pairs vary between stanzas, coming together in a visit to an ice-cream truck. With minimal text and maximum emotion, the book encapsulates Raschka's own passion and nostalgia for being a father to his (now-grown) son.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Ras. View in our catalog

Dec 19, 2019
Alexis
Thursday, December 12, 2019
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Broke: Hardship and Resilience in the City of Broken Promises

Jodie Adams Kirshner

Bankruptcy and the austerity it represents have become a common "solution" for struggling American cities. What do the spending cuts and limited resources do to the lives of city residents? In Broke, Jodie Adams Kirshner follows seven Detroiters as they navigate life during and after their city's bankruptcy. Reggie loses his savings trying to make a habitable home for his family. Cindy fights drug use, prostitution, and dumping on her block. Lola commutes two hours a day to her suburban job. For them, financial issues are mired within the larger ramifications of poor urban policies, restorative negligence on the state and federal level and—even before the decision to declare Detroit bankrupt in 2013—the root causes of a city's fiscal demise.

Like Matthew Desmond's Evicted, Broke looks at what municipal distress means, not just on paper but in practical—and personal—terms. More than 40 percent of Detroit's 700,000 residents fall below the poverty line. Post-bankruptcy, they struggle with a broken real estate market, school system, and job market—and their lives have not improved.

Detroit is emblematic. Kirshner makes a powerful argument that cities—the economic engine of America—are never quite given the aid that they need by either the state or federal government for their residents to survive, not to mention flourish. Success for all America's citizens depends on equity of opportunity.

Nonfiction. Call number: 336.368 Kir. View in our catalog

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Lady Takes the Case

Eliza Casey

England 1912. Danby Hall is the only home Lady Cecilia Bates has ever known. Despite the rigid rules of etiquette and her mother the Countess of Avebury's fervent desire to see her married off, Lady Cecilia can't imagine life anywhere else. But now, with an agricultural depression sweeping the countryside, the Bates family's possession of the hall is suddenly in peril.

A possible solution arrives in the form of the imperious American heiress Annabel Clarke. The Earl and Countess of Avebury are determined that Cecilia's brother, Patrick, will win Annabel's hand in marriage—and her fortune along with it. To help the lackluster Patrick in this pursuit, the Bates and their staff arrange a grand house party upon the heiress's arrival.

When a guest dies after sipping from a glass meant for Annabel, it's clear the Bates have a more poisonous problem on their hands than a lack of chemistry. As the scandal seizes Danby, Cecilia sets out to find the culprit, with help from Annabel's maid, Jane, and Jane's curiously intelligent cat, Jack.

After the poison that someone had stashed away inside the manor is discovered, Cecilia is left with two possibilities: Either a resident of Danby snapped and tried to kill the arrogant heiress, or the threat is coming from one of their guests, who would love to see the Bates family's decline become permanent.

Mystery fiction. Call number: MFIC Cas. View in our catalog

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Stories to Sing in the Dark

Matthew Bright

The speculative shines bright in the dark with these stories by Matthew Bright: a boy with a secret begins work at a strange library housing all the books never written; Dorian Gray's love of beauty struggles in the face of AIDs-era San Francisco and the Castro; the tomb of the Empress is adrift in space and hungry for the concubines aboard her; two men in an old film finally realize that they are trapped but still they seek the means for finally declaring their love for each other. These and other tales of the queer fantastic are the perfect bedfellows for the deep, dark night.

Science fiction/fantasy. Call number: SCIFIC Bri. View in our catalog

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Girls Like Us

Randi Pink

Four teenage girls. Four different stories. What they all have in common is that they're dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

It's the summer of 1972, before Roe v. Wade. In rural Georgia, Izella is wise beyond her years, but burdened with the responsibility of her older sister, Ola, who has found out she's pregnant. Their young neighbor, Missippi, is also pregnant, but doesn't fully understand the extent of her predicament. When her father sends her to Chicago to give birth, she meets the final narrator, Susan, who is white and the daughter of an anti-choice senator.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Pin. View in our catalog

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Pokko and the Drum

Matthew Forsythe

The biggest mistake Pokko's parents ever made was giving her the drum. When Pokko takes the drum deep into the forest it is so quiet, so very quiet that Pokko decides to play. And before she knows it she is joined by a band of animals —first the raccoon, then the rabbit, then the wolf—and soon the entire forest is following her. Will Pokko hear her father's voice when he calls her home?

Pokko and the Drum is a story about art, persistence, and a family of frogs living in a mushroom.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY For. View in our catalog

Dec 12, 2019
Alexis
Thursday, December 5, 2019
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Seeing Gender: A Illustrated Guide to Identity and Expression

Iris Gottlieb

Seeing Gender is an of-the-moment investigation into how we express and understand the complexities of gender today. Deeply researched and fully illustrated, this book demystifies an intensely personal—yet universal—facet of humanity. Illustrating a different concept on each spread, queer author and artist Iris Gottlieb touches on history, science, sociology, and her own experience. This book is an essential tool for understanding and contributing to a necessary cultural conversation, bringing clarity and reassurance to the sometimes confusing process of navigating ones' identity. Whether LGBTQ+, cisgender, or nonbinary, Seeing Gender is a must-read for intelligent, curious, want-to-be woke people who care about how we see and talk about gender and sexuality in the 21st century.

Nonfiction. Call number: 305.3 Got. View in our catalog

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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? Big Questions from Tiny Mortals about Death

Caitlin Doughty

Every day, funeral director Caitlin Doughty receives dozens of questions about death. The best questions come from kids. What would happen to an astronaut's body if it were pushed out of a space shuttle? Do people poop when they die? Can Grandma have a Viking funeral?

In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, Doughty blends her mortician's knowledge of the body and the intriguing history behind common misconceptions about corpses to offer factual, hilarious, and candid answers to thirty-five distinctive questions posed by her youngest fans. In her inimitable voice, Doughty details lore and science of what happens to, and inside, our bodies after we die. Why do corpses groan? What causes bodies to turn colors during decomposition? And why do hair and nails appear longer after death? Readers will learn the best soil for mummifying your body, whether you can preserve your best friend's skull as a keepsake, and what happens when you die on a plane.

Beautifully illustrated by Dianné Ruz, Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? shows us that death is science and art, and only by asking questions can we begin to embrace it.

Nonfiction. Call number: 306.9 Dou. View in our catalog

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Queen of Bones: A Havana Mystery

Teresa Dovalpage

Juan, a Cuban construction worker who has settled in Albuquerque, returns to Havana for the first time since fleeing Cuba by raft twenty years ago. He is traveling with his American wife, Sharon, and hopes to reconnect with Victor, his best friend from college—and, unbeknownst to Sharon, he also hopes to discover what has become of two ex-girlfriends, Elsa and Rosita.

Juan is surprised to learn that Victor has become Victoria and runs a popular drag show at the local hot spot Café Arabia. Elsa has married a wealthy foreigner, and Rosita, still single, works at the Havana cemetery. When one of these women turns up dead, it will cost Padrino, a Santería priest and former detective on the Havana police force, more than he expects to untangle the group's lies and hunt down the killer.

Mystery fiction. Call number: MFIC Dov. View in our catalog

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Our Wayward Fate

Gloria Chao

Seventeen-year-old Ali Chu knows that as the only Asian person at her school in middle-of-nowhere Indiana, she must be bland as white toast to survive. This means swapping her congee lunch for PB&Js, ignoring the clueless racism from her classmates and teachers, and keeping her mouth shut when people wrongly call her Allie instead of her actual name, pronounced Āh-lěe, after the mountain in Taiwan.

Her autopilot existence is disrupted when she finds out that Chase Yu, the new kid in school, is also Taiwanese. Despite some initial resistance due to the "they belong together" whispers, Ali and Chase soon spark a chemistry rooted in competitive martial arts, joking in two languages, and, most importantly, pushing back against the discrimination they face.

But when Ali's mom finds out about the relationship, she forces Ali to end it. As Ali covertly digs into the why behind her mother's disapproval, she uncovers secrets about her family and Chase that force her to question everything she thought she knew about life, love, and her unknowable future.

Snippets of a love story from nineteenth-century China (a retelling of the Chinese folktale The Butterfly Lovers) are interspersed with Ali's narrative and intertwined with her fate.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Cha. View in our catalog

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Frankie's Favorite Food

Kelsey Garrity-Riley

Frankie has a problem: he has too many favorite foods. He can't bring himself to choose just one to be for the school play, so on the day of the performance, he's still without a costume. His teacher comes up with a delicious idea: what if Frankie becomes the Costume Manager? That way, he can parlay his love of all things culinary into the whole production. From adding some last-minute garnishes to helping the rice and beans into their costumes, Frankie shines backstage until he has a brilliant idea and decides to make his debut on the menu as something that combines his love for all his favorite foods . . .

In this funny and scrumptiously adorable story, readers will delight in the variety of foods represented and the clever performances full of silly word play and sweet camaraderie. In Kelsey Garrity-Riley's author-illustrator debut, she shows the joy of food and revels in celebrating the way food can bring people together and inspire creativity.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Gar. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

Dec 5, 2019
Alexis
Thursday, November 21, 2019
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Everything Must Go

Kevin Coval and Langston Allston

Everything Must Go is an illustrated collection of poems in the spirit of a graphic novel, a collaboration between poet Kevin Coval and illustrator Langston Allston.

The book celebrates Chicago's Wicker Park in the late 1990's, Coval's home as a young artist, the ancestral neighborhood of his forebears, and a vibrant enclave populated by colorful characters. Allston's illustrations honor the neighborhood as it once was, before gentrification remade it.

The book excavates and mourns that which has been lost in transition and serves as a template for understanding the process of displacement and reinvention currently reshaping American cities.

Nonfiction/poetry. Call number: 811.6 Cov. View in our catalog

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Portable Black Magic

Ran Walker

Stephen King once said that books are portable magic. Ran Walker decided to take this phrase a bit more literally in his third short story collection, bringing to life vibrant new landscapes of both the strange and the familiar.

A writer finds himself in a love triangle where one of the women is a ghost. A woman discovers that her cure for alopecia has unintended consequences. An artist paints a woman he has been dreaming about, only to discover his dreams might be closer to reality than he thought. A graduating senior learns the true value of sacrifice. A guy professes his love for his girlfriend through an overwhelming metaphor. A social media-focused couple welcomes the world into their adoption struggles. And a relationship is threatened when a childhood secret is revealed.

In these seven stories, Walker paints a world where nothing is quite as it seems.

Fiction. Call number: FIC Wal. View in our catalog

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A Match Made in Mehendi

Nandini Bajpai

Fifteen-year-old Simran "Simi" Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole — matchmakers — with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the "gift."

But Simi is an artist, and she doesn't want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah's social status. Armed with her family's ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app.

But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys' soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.

Teen fiction. Call number: YA FIC Baj. View in our catalog

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No Map, Great Trip: A Young Writer's Road to Page One

Paul Fleischman

Acclaimed author Paul Fleischman considers how growing up with a father who was an award-winning author helped to shape and inspire his own career. Paul and Sid Fleischman are the only father-son Newbery Medalists in history, and life in the Fleischman home was extraordinary. Readers will feel like part of the family in this humorous and aspirational chronicle.

Paul Fleischman is the author of the Newbery Award-winning Joyful Noise and the classroom classic Seedfolks, as well as many other acclaimed and beloved titles. His books are taught and performed in classrooms across the country.

Part memoir, part travelogue (young Paul travels from California to New Hampshire by himself), part writing book, and part reflection on art and creativity, this inspirational book includes black-and-white photographs, as well as writing tips and prompts just right for budding authors. No Map, Great Trip is a great gift for young writers, language arts teachers, and fans of Jack Prelutsky's Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry and Ralph Fletcher's A Writer's Notebook.

Youth biography. Call number: J BIOG Fleischman. View in our catalog

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Hungry Jim

Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Chuck Groenink

A hilariously meaningful tale about learning to control your instincts: When Jim wakes up one Tuesday morning, he doesn't feel like eating his pancakes. In fact, Jim doesn't feel like Jim. He feels rather, well, beastly. But he is hungry. Very hungry... hungry as a lion! This clever tale of moods from Laurel Snyder and Chuck Groenink offers a lighthearted depiction of the beastliness that lives inside all of us—and the power we have to put it in its place.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Sny. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

Nov 21, 2019
Alexis
Thursday, November 14, 2019
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Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking

Toni Tipton-Martin

Throughout her career, Toni Tipton-Martin has shed new light on the history, breadth, and depth of African American cuisine. She's introduced us to black cooks, some long forgotten, who established much of what's considered to be our national cuisine. After all, if Thomas Jefferson introduced French haute cuisine to this country, who do you think actually cooked it?

In Jubilee, Tipton-Martin brings these masters into our kitchens. Through recipes and stories, we cook along with these pioneering figures, from enslaved chefs to middle- and upper-class writers and entrepreneurs. With more than 100 recipes, from classics such as Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Pecan Pie with Bourbon to lesser-known but even more decadent dishes like Bourbon & Apple Hot Toddies, Spoon Bread, and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne, Jubilee presents techniques, ingredients, and dishes that show the roots of African American cooking—deeply beautiful, culturally diverse, fit for celebration.

Nonfiction. Call number: 641.592 Tip. View in our catalog

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Desdemona and the Deep

C. S. E. Cooney

In Desdemona and the Deep, the spoiled daughter of a rich mining family must retrieve the tithe of men her father promised to the world below. On the surface, her world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy.

Science fiction/fantasy. Call number: SCIFIC Coo. View in our catalog

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The Poison Garden

A. J. Banner

Elise Watters seems to have it all—a blissful marriage, a gorgeous Victorian home surrounded by lush gardens, and a dream job running her late mother's herbal boutique.

But on the eve of her first wedding anniversary, Elise makes a shocking discovery that turns her life upside down and casts doubt on everything she thought she knew—about her marriage, her friends, and even herself. As she treads into dangerous territory, Elise is forced to wonder: Is her whole future at stake? Or is paranoia getting the best of her?

If she is to believe what she sees, Elise has every reason to fear for her life...

Fiction. Call number: FIC Ban. View in our catalog

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My Jasper June

Laurel Snyder

The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels. . . lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah's been adrift and alone.

Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There's something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.

Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.

But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.

Youth fiction. Call number: J FIC Sny. View in our catalog

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I Am a Thief!

Abigail Rayner, illustrated by Molly Ruttan

When Eliza Jane Murphy impulsively pockets a sparkly green stone from her classroom's "Exploring Green" display table, her heart crumples.

My heart stopped singing. My letters went wonky. I was too heavy to swing! I wanted to put it back . . . But what if someone saw?

But when she discovers that nearly everyone in her family took something once in their lives—from her baby brother and mom, to her nana with her sausage-stealing dog—Eliza overcomes her shame to make things right. A hilarious and heartfelt story about stealing and finding the courage to do the right thing.

Youth easy book. Call number: J EASY Ray. View in our catalog

Descriptions and images provided by the publishers.

Nov 14, 2019
Alexis

© 2019 William P. Faust Westland Public Library