New Books Highlight: December 2015
Every month the High School library has new books being added to its shelves. Here are a few that have been added during October. For more information and reviews, click on the book cover or title. For a full list of new books the library has added, click here.
|Between the World and Me
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Winner of the National Book Award 2015, non-fiction. For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he’s sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him–most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear .
In [this book], Coates takes readers along on his journey through America’s history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings–moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago’s South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America’s ‘long war on black people,’ or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.
|A Little Life: a novel
By Hayna Yanagihara
A National Book Award finalist. When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome–but that will define his life forever.
|The Girl With All the Gifts
By M.R. Carey
Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl. Emotionally charged and gripping from beginning to end, The girl with all the gifts is the most powerful and affecting thriller you will read this year.
|Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone… A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.
|The Heart Goes Last
By Margaret Atwood
Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in. for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their “civilian” homes. At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one’s head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan’s life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.
|The Lemon Tree: an Arab, a Jew, and the heart of the Middle East
By Sandy Tolan
Based on a 43-minute radio documentary that Tolan produced for “Fresh Air,” this volume pursues the story into the homes and histories of the two families at its center through the present day. Their stories form a personal microcosm of the last 70 years of Israeli-Palestinian history. In 1967, Bashir Al-Khayri, a Palestinian twenty-five-year-old, journeyed to Israel, with the goal of seeing the beloved old stone house, with the lemon tree behind it, that he and his family had fled nineteen years earlier. To his surprise, when he found the house he was greeted by Dalia Ashkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student, whose family fled Europe for Israel following the Holocaust. On the stoop of their shared home, Dalia and Bashir began a rare friendship, forged in the aftermath of war and tested over the next thirty-five years in ways that neither could imagine on that summer day in 1967.
|Rookie: Yearbook One
By Tavi Gevinson
Rookiemag.com is a website created by and for young women to make the best of the beauty, pain and awkwardness of being a teenager. In Rookie Yearbook One, we explore breakups, love, feminism, street harassment, being happy, being sad, and other life-related topics. Featuring contributions from and interviews with Rookie heroes like Daniel Clowes, Zooey Deschanel, Lena Dunham, Sky Ferreira, Jack Black, Anna Faris, Fred Armisen, Patton Oswalt, Paul Feig, Miranda July, Aubrey Plaza, Dan Savage, David Sedaris, Sarah Silverman, John Waters and Joss Whedon.
|Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink
By Elvis Costello
Born Declan Patrick MacManus, Elvis Costello was raised in London and Liverpool, grandson of a trumpet player on the White Star Line and son of a jazz musician who became a successful radio dance-band vocalist. Costello went into the family business and before he was twenty-four took the popular music world by storm. This memoir, written entirely by Costello, offers his unique view of his unlikely and sometimes comical rise to international success, with diversions through the previously undocumented emotional foundations of some of his best-known songs and the hits of tomorrow. It features many stories and observations about his renowned cowriters and co-conspirators, though Costello also pauses along the way for considerations of the less appealing side of fame.
By Gertrude Stein
Matched only by Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast, Paris France is a “fresh and sagacious” (The New Yorker) classic of prewar France and its unforgettable literary eminences. Celebrated for her innovative literary bravura, Gertrude Stein (1874–1946) settled into a bustling Paris at the turn of the twentieth century, never again to return to her native America. While in Paris, she not only surrounded herself with—and tirelessly championed the careers of—a remarkable group of young expatriate artists but also solidified herself as “one of the most controversial figures of American letters” (New York Times). In Paris France, Stein unites her childhood memories of Paris with her observations about everything from art and war to love and cooking. The result is an unforgettable glimpse into a bygone era, one on the brink of revolutionary change.
By Sarah Dessen
Sydney has always felt invisible. She’s grown accustomed to her brother, Peyton, being the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world. Then she meets the Chatham family. Drawn into their warm, chaotic circle, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance for the first time. There’s effervescent Layla, who constantly falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, who’s had her own fall from grace, and Mrs. Chatham, who even though ailing is the heart of the family. But it’s with older brother Mac—quiet, watchful, and protective—that Sydney finally feels seen, really seen, at last. Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s deepest and most psychologically probing novel yet, telling an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.
|Since You Asked
By Maurene Goo
No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway.
|House of Sand and Fog
By Andre Dubus III
A former colonel in the Iranian Air Force yearns to restore his family’s dignity. A recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck struggles to hold on to the one thing she has left. And her lover, a married cop, is driven to extremes to win her love. In this masterpiece of American realism and Shakespearean consequence, Andre Dubus III’s unforgettable characters—people with ordinary flaws, looking for a small piece of ground to stand on—careen toward inevitable conflict, their tragedy painting a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.
|The Flame in the Mist
By Kit Grindstaff
Set in an imagined past, this dark fantasy-adventure is for fans of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass. Features Jemma, a fiery-headed heroine held captive in Agromond Castle, yet destined to save mist-shrouded Anglavia. Fiery-headed Jemma Agromond is not who she thinks she is, and when the secrets and lies behind her life at mist-shrouded Agromond Castle begin to unravel, she finds herself in a chilling race for her life. Ghosts and misfits, a stone and crystals, a mysterious book, an ancient prophecy—all these reveal the truth about Jemma’s past and a destiny far greater and more dangerous than she could have imagined in her wildest fantasies. With her telepathic golden rats, Noodle and Pie, and her trusted friend, Digby, Jemma navigates increasingly dark forces, as helpers both seen and unseen, gather. But in the end, it is her own powers that she must bring to light, for only she has the key to defeating the evil ones and fulfilling the prophecy that will bring back the sun and restore peace in Anglavia.
|Carry On: the rise and fall of Simon Snow
By Rainbow Rowell
Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen. That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right. Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here. It’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.
By Dan Wells
For fans of The Hunger Games, Battlestar Galactica, and Blade Runner comes the first book in the Partials Sequence, a fast-paced, action-packed, and riveting sci-fi teen series, by acclaimed author Dan Wells. Humanity is all but extinguished after a war with Partials–engineered organic beings identical to humans–has decimated the population. Reduced to only tens of thousands by a weaponized virus to which only a fraction of humanity is immune, the survivors in North America have huddled together on Long Island. But sixteen-year-old Kira is determined to find a solution. As she tries desperately to save what is left of her race, she discovers that that the survival of both humans and Partials rests in her attempts to answer questions about the war’s origin that she never knew to ask. Playing on our curiosity of and fascination with the complete collapse of civilization, Partials is, at its heart, a story of survival, one that explores the individual narratives and complex relationships of those left behind, both humans and Partials alike–and of the way in which the concept of what is right and wrong in this world is greatly dependent on one’s own point of view.
(The Library also has Fragments and Ruins, books 2 & 3 of the series)