496 New Books Since January 2016

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Every year the ASIJ High School Library adds hundreds of new books to its shelves and electronic devices. As a vital tool of the school, the library is consistently working to keep the resources it offers to its constituents relevant and up-to-date. Taking into consideration the new materials needed for class work, personal requests from students, teachers and parents, along with our own research we do to curate current best fiction and non-fiction books, the library has collected nearly 500 books in the past 6 months. This is not only a significant number of books, also the range of content is vast and diverse. In 2016 popular topics included, but were not limited to, the effects of technology on our brains and society, the environment and climate change, religion and spirituality, medical science, and various issues within education. Other books include the history of Indigo, maritime ship vessels, astronomy, synesthesia (blending of senses), minimalism, the power of music, Elon Musk, and Dreamworks animation. This is just scratching the surface. There really are just too many interesting books to read and not nearly enough time! For a full list of the 496 new books, click here.

 

Categories: Library, New Books

Student Poetry Reading in the HS Library

April 29, 2016 Leave a comment

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Small-Blue-RGB-National-Poetry-Month-Logo

April is National Poetry Month, and since its inception in 1996, has become the largest literary celebration in the world. Schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrate through a diverse range of activities, which include but are not limited to poem-a-day, taking a poetry class, and chalking poem murals. Here are 30 ways you can celebrate poetry. Here at ASIJ we celebrated national poetry month through a collaborative poetry reading. This past Wednesday during activity period, 16 students read poems that had moved and inspired them or they had written themselves.

Categories: ASIJ Students, Events, Poetry

First Edition, Signed Copy of John Steinbeck’s ‘The Long Valley’ on Display in High School Library

April 22, 2016 Leave a comment

Long Valley 2

A first edition copy of John Steinbeck’s The Long Valley, is currently on display at the ASIJ High School library. The book was lent to the library by high school math teacher, Roy Tomlinson. It is a compilation of Steinbeck’s stories including The Red Pony,  and although shows some age and wear, is in incredibly good condition. Mr. Tomlinson shared with us how the book came into his possession.

“My grandmother gave me the book in 1996.  She told me her cousin, the lady addressed in the signature, was her first cousin who passed away in the late 60’s and gave her the book.  My grandmother lived in Monterey, a fixture in Steinbeck’s books, so it’s quite a treasure for me.  My grandmother kept that book for a long time, before giving it to me, knowing that “The Red Pony”, one of my favorite childhood stories, is in the book.  As a first edition, it’s amazing that I have it.  Signed?  Overwhelming.”

Categories: Authors, Events, Library

New Books: March 2016

 

ghost boy

Ghost Boy: The Miraculous Escape of a Misdiagnosed Boy Trapped Inside His Own Body

By Martin Pistorius

They all thought he was gone. But he was alive and trapped inside his own body for ten years.In January 1988 Martin Pistorius, aged twelve, fell inexplicably sick. First he lost his voice and stopped eating. Then he slept constantly and shunned human contact. Doctors were mystified. Within eighteen months he was mute and wheelchair-bound. Martin’s parents were told an unknown degenerative disease left him with the mind of a baby and less than two years to live.Martin was moved to care centers for severely disabled children. The stress and heartache shook his parents’ marriage and their family to the core. Their boy was gone. Or so they thought.

 

 

fangirl

Fangirl

By Rainbow Rowell

In Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, Cath is a Simon Snow fan. Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan, but for Cath, being a fan is her life–and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere. Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to. Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.
For Cath, the question is: Can she do this? Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories? And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

 

boys in the boat

The Boys in the Boat

By Daniel James Brown

For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, Brown has created an unforgettable portrait of an era, a celebration of a remarkable achievement, and a chronicle of one extraordinary young man’s personal quest.

 

black rabbit hall

Black Rabbit Hall

By Eve Chase

Ghosts are everywhere, not just the ghost of Momma in the woods, but ghosts of us too, what we used to be like in those long summers . . .Amber Alton knows that the hours pass differently at Black Rabbit Hall, her London family’s country estate, where no two clocks read the same. Summers there are perfect, timeless. Not much ever happens. Until, of course, it does. More than three decades later, Lorna is determined to be married within the grand, ivy-covered walls of Pencraw Hall, known as Black Rabbit Hall among the locals. But as she’s drawn deeper into the overgrown grounds, half-buried memories of her mother begin to surface and Lorna soon finds herself ensnared within the manor’s labyrinthine history, overcome with an insatiable need for answers about her own past and that of the once-happy family whose memory still haunts the estate.

 

when breath becomes air

When Breath Becomes Air

By Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all.

 

swans of 5th

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

By Melanie Benjamin

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends—the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all: money, beauty, glamour, jewels, influential friends, a prestigious husband, and gorgeous homes. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman—a woman desperately longing for true love and connection. Enter Truman Capote. This diminutive golden-haired genius with a larger-than-life personality explodes onto the scene, setting Babe and her circle of Swans aflutter. Through Babe, Truman gains an unlikely entrée into the enviable lives of Manhattan’s elite, along with unparalleled access to the scandal and gossip of Babe’s powerful circle. Sure of the loyalty of the man she calls “True Heart,” Babe never imagines the destruction Truman will leave in his wake. But once a storyteller, always a storyteller—even when the stories aren’t his to tell.

 

opposite of loneliness

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories

By: Marina Keegan

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at The New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash. Marina left behind a rich, deeply expansive trove of writing that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty, and possibility of her generation. Her short story “Cold Pastoral” was published on NewYorker.com. Her essay “Even Artichokes Have Doubts” was excerpted in the Financial Times, and her book was the focus of a Nicholas Kristof column in The New York Times. Millions of her contemporaries have responded to her work on social media.

 

my name is red

My Name Is Red

By Orhan Pamuk

At once a fiendishly devious mystery, a beguiling love story, and a brilliant symposium on the power of art, My Name Is Red is a transporting tale set amid the splendor and religious intrigue of sixteenth-century Istanbul, from one of the most prominent contemporary Turkish writers. The Sultan has commissioned a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land to create a great book celebrating the glories of his realm. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed. The ruling elite therefore mustn’t know the full scope or nature of the project, and panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears. The only clue to the mystery–or crime? –lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Part fantasy and part philosophical puzzle, My Name is Red is a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex and power.

 

what i know now

What I know Now: Letters to My Younger Self

By Ellyn Spragins

If you could send a letter back through time to your younger self, what would the letter say? In this moving collection, forty-one famous women write letters to the women they once were, filled with advice and insights they wish they had had when they were younger. Today show correspondent Ann Curry writes to herself as a rookie reporter in her first job, telling herself not to change so much to fit in, urging her young self, “It is time to be bold about who you really are.” Country music superstar Lee Ann Womack reflects on the stressed-out year spent recording her first album and encourages her younger self to enjoy the moment, not just the end result. And Maya Angelou, leaving home at seventeen with a newborn baby in her arms, assures herself she will succeed on her own, even if she does return home every now and then. These remarkable women are joined by Madeleine Albright, Queen Noor of Jordan, Cokie Roberts, Naomi Wolf, Eileen Fisher, Jane Kaczmarek, Olympia Dukakis, Macy Gray, and many others. Their letters contain rare glimpses into the personal lives of extraordinary women and powerful wisdom that readers will treasure.

 

parable of the sower

Parable of the Sower (Earthseed #1)

By Octavia E. Butler

When unattended environmental and economic crises lead to social chaos, not even gated communities are safe. In a night of fire and death Lauren Olamina, a minister’s young daughter, loses her family and home and ventures out into the unprotected American landscape. But what begins as a flight for survival soon leads to something much more: a startling vision of human destiny… and the birth of a new faith.

 

 

 

 

 

alone in antarc

Alone in Antarctica: The First Woman to Ski Solo Across the Southern Ice

By Felicity Aston

In the whirling noise of our advancing technological age, we are seemingly never alone, never out-of-touch with the barrage of electronic data and information. Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman — and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. She did it, too, with the simple apparatus of cross-country, without the aids used by her predecessors – two Norwegian men – each of whom employed either parasails or kites. Aston’s journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement.

 

mark of the thief

Mark of the Thief

By Jennifer A. Nielsen

When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing the lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than gold and gemstones: He discovers an ancient bulla, an amulet that belonged to the great Caesar and is filled with a magic once reserved for the Gods — magic some Romans would kill for. Now, with the deadly power of the bulla pulsing through his veins, Nic is determined to become free. But instead, he finds himself at the center of a ruthless conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and spark the Praetor War, a battle to destroy Rome from within. Traitors and spies lurk at every turn, each more desperate than the next to use Nic’s newfound powers for their own dark purposes. In a quest to stop the rebellion, save Rome, and secure his own freedom, Nic must harness the magic within himself and defeat the empire’s most powerful and savage leaders.

 

Jimmy_Corrigan_Hardback_coverJimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

By Chris Ware

This first book from Chicago author Chris Ware is a pleasantly-decorated view at a lonely and emotionally-impaired “everyman” (Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth), who is provided, at age 36, the opportunity to meet his father for the first time. An improvisatory romance which gingerly deports itself between 1890’s Chicago and 1980’s small town Michigan, the reader is helped along by thousands of colored illustrations and diagrams, which, when read rapidly in sequence, provide a convincing illusion of life and movement. The bulk of the work is supported by fold-out instructions, an index, paper cut-outs, and a brief apology, all of which concrete to form a rich portrait of a man stunted by a paralyzing fear of being disliked.

Categories: New Books

Best of the Web: March 4, 2016

 

rabbit-duck-drawing-tease-today-160215_48fe2de007003bff87240c2107aaa762.today-inline-large

source: Today.com

 

What do you see, a rabbit or duck? This 124-year-old drawing has both if you can spot them.

The Cast Of ‘Harry Potter’ Had A Mini-Reunion And It Was Magical.

Fun app: Magisto. Make your movie, tell your story.

Instagram to follow for suggestions of books to read: BestBookGrams. Microreviews of smart new fiction.

Aziz Ansari goes to India.

Modernlibrary.com’s 100 best novels, which is actually two lists, the Board’s list & the reader’s list.

Categories: Best of the Web

Visiting Author in March: Leza Lowitz

Next week author Leza Lowitz will be spending the day at ASIJ, conducting two keynote presentations to the middle school about the March 2011 tsunami and the making of her latest book; teaching a college composition class in the HS; and participating in the High School Book Club’s discussion of Up from the Sea.  The book is a powerful novel-in-verse account about how one teen boy survives the March 2011 tsunami that devastates his coastal Japanese village (Amazon).

Ms. Lowitz is not only an author, but also a yoga teacher, and owner of Sun and Moon Yoga Studio in Tokyo. For over two decades, she’s been bringing together the worlds of writing and spirituality, charting her quest in over seventeen books and in the New York Times online, Yoga Journal, Shambhala Sun, The Best Buddhist Writing 2011, The Huffington Post, The Japan Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

If you are interested in participating in the High School Book Club’s discussion of Up from the Sea, come by the IdeaXchange Thursday, March 10th at 1:00pm. The High School Library has a few copies of the book available for check out.

Categories: Authors, Book Clubs, Events

Best of the Web: February 12, 2016

February 12, 2016 Leave a comment
Ashima Shiraishi

source: The New Yorker

 

Are you there, teenagers? A newsletter aims for your inbox. Ex-editors of Teen Vogue and Nylon, launch ‘Clover‘.

Fourteen-year-old Ashima Shiraishi has been called the most talented rock climber in the world.

10 Inspiring talks from TED Youth.

These are this weeks best sellers at indiebound.org.

 

Categories: Best of the Web
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