Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Books In For Review

It's gonna be a hot summer!  Check out all the great looking books that have just arrived for review!  







Crowning Glory: An Experiment in Self-Discovery Through Disguise by Stacy Harshen You want your hair to be perfect to show the true you. But without the hair on your head, who are you? What if it is somebody else s hair? In this beautifully written, heartfelt, witty, and life-affirming memoir, Stacy Harshman tracks her amazing experiment. By wearing dramatic, identically styled but differently colored wigs for weeks in New York City, Stacy Harshman learns more about who she is and what she can find in herself as a redhead, a raven-haired goth, a brunette, and a blonde. After hiring a spy to document how people responded to her, Stacy realizes how her hair is woven into every aspect of her life: her self-image, her depression, and her relationships. Changing her hair changed how she approached all of them. By turns rapturous, rueful, and riotous, this wise and funny book charts the story of one woman s way to shake it up, change it all, and discover something new about herself. Humor, danger, laughter, lust -- even madness combine to make Crowning Glory as perfect a fit as one of her own flamboyant hairpieces. You won t be able to put it down or take it off. -- Author Richard D. Smith

Pages in the Wind by Salley Saylor de Smet After the brutal murder of her father, Emily Quinn finds herself detained at the San Francisco County Jail, charged with first-degree murder for a crime she cannot remember. Emily’s mother, a wealthy socialite, quickly distances herself from her troubled daughter, but in an attempt to salvage the family name, hires world-renowned psychiatrist, Daniel Lieberman, to assist in Emily’s defense. The famed doctor, an aging, lonely psychiatrist with an addiction to sugar, caffeine, and understanding the human mind, quickly becomes sympathetic to Emily and her tortured childhood. Together, Lieberman and Emily explore the frightening and twisted world of her damaged psyche, uncovering the complex reasons behind the young woman’s self-hatred and disconnected self-image. They develop an abiding partnership, weaving through unexpected revelations and disturbing secrets. Of particular interest to the doctor is Emily’s strange attachment to the imaginary girls she sketches—and is driven to personify. The secrets hidden in Emily’s mind could help with her defense—or confirm the death penalty case against her. But Lieberman senses other secrets hide within the patient’s mind, particularly the events surrounding the unexplained death of her twin sister, Penelope. A gripping, twisting tale of psychological intrigue, Pages in the Wind enters the mostly uncharted realm of the human mind, seeking truth buried deep within Emily’s subconscious. Lieberman can help her uncover her past, but Emily is the one who has to face it—or remain damaged forever.

The World Beneath by Janice Warman South Africa, 1976. Joshua lives with his mother in the maid’s room, in the backyard of their wealthy white employers’ house in the city by the sea. He doesn’t quite understand the events going on around him. But when he rescues a stranger and riots begin to sweep the country, Joshua has to face the world beneath—the world deep inside him—to make heartbreaking choices that will change his life forever. Genuine and quietly unflinching, this beautifully nuanced novel from a veteran journalist captures a child’s-eye view of the struggle that shaped a nation and riveted the world.

Dance of the Jacaranda by Peter Kimani Set in the shadow of Kenya's independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the rise and fall of colonialism, and the special circumstances that brought black, brown, and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation. The novel traces the lives and loves of three men: preacher Richard Turnbull, the colonial administrator Ian McDonald, and Indian technician Babu Salim, whose lives intersect when they are implicated in the controversial birth of a child. Years later, when Babu's grandson, Rajan--who ekes out a living by singing Babu's epic tales of the railway's construction--accidentally kisses a mysterious stranger in a dark nightclub, the encounter provides the spark to illuminate the three men's shared, murky past.

No One Told Me Not to Do This: Selected Screenprints, 2009–2015 by Jay Ryan This third collection of Ryan's "greatest hits" features prints made between 2009–2015, including posters for bands such as Andrew Bird, Shellac, My Morning Jacket, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Hum, St. Vincent, and others, as well as posters featuring Lil BUB, Cards Against Humanity, various bicycle races, film screenings, and pictures of sloths, walruses, and other mammals in states of troubled sleep. With an introduction by master illustrator Aaron Horkey, this volume comprises 200 screen prints with commentary and original drawings used in the screenprinting process.

South Haven by Hirsh Sawhney Siddharth Arora lives an ordinary life in the New England suburb of South Haven, but his childhood comes to a grinding halt when his mother dies in a car accident. Siddharth soon gravitates toward a group of adolescent bullies, drinking and smoking instead of drawing and swimming. He takes great pains to care for his depressive father, Mohan Lal, an immigrant who finds solace in the hateful Hindu fundamentalism of his homeland and cheers on Indian fanatics who murder innocent Muslims. When a new woman enters their lives, Siddharth and his father have a chance at a fresh start. They form a new family, hoping to leave their pain behind them. South Haven is no simple coming-of-age tale or hero's journey, blurring the line between victim and victimizer and asking readers to contend with the lies we tell ourselves as we grieve and survive. Following in the tradition of narratives by Edwidge Danticat and Junot Díaz, Sawhney draws upon the measured lyricism of postcolonial writers like Michael Ondaatje but brings to his subjects distinctly American irreverence and humor.

The Worst Breakfast by Zak Smith Two sisters sit down one morning and begin describing all of the really gross things that were in the worst breakfast they ever had, until all they can picture is a table piled sky-high with the weirdest, yuckiest, slimiest, slickest, stinkiest breakfast possible. And then they have the best breakfast ever...almost.

The Bear Who Wasn't There by Oren Lavie One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he's looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he's very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, the Lazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he's been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear--and handsome too!

New Orleans Noir edited by Julie Smith Akashic Books continues its groundbreaking series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each story is set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the city of the book. Brand-new stories by: Ace Atkins, Laura Lippman, Patty Friedmann, Barbara Hambly, Tim McLoughlin, Olympia Vernon, David Fulmer, Jervey Tervalon, James Nolan, Kalamu ya Salaam, Maureen Tan, Thomas Adcock, Jeri Cain Rossi, Christine Wiltz, Greg Herren, Julie Smith, Eric Overmyer, and Ted O'Brien.

Simon's Cat by Simon Tofield Simon Tofield's animations have taken YouTube by storm. Now, the feline Internet phenomenon makes his way onto the page in this first-ever book based on the popular animated series. SIMON'S CAT depicts and exaggerates the hilarious relationship between a man and his cat. The daily escapades of this adorable pet, which always involve demanding more food, and his exasperated but doting owner come to life through Tofield's charming and hilarious illustrations.

By the Numbers by Jen Lancaster Actuary Penny Sinclair has a head for business, and she always makes rational decisions. Knowing that 60% of spouses cheat and 50% of marriages end in divorce, she wasn’t too surprised when her husband had an affair. (That he did so with a woman their daughter’s age? Well, that part did sting a bit.) She just made sure she got everything in the divorce, including their lovely old Victorian house. And as soon as her younger daughter has her hipster-fabulous wedding in the backyard, she’s trading it in for a condo in downtown Chicago...Well within the average market time in her area, Penny gets an offer on the house. But then life happens. Her children, her parents and her ex come flying back to the nest, all in need of Penny’s emotional—and financial—support. Spread thin, Penny becomes the poster child for the “sandwich generation,” when all she really wanted to do was make managing director, buy a white couch, and maybe go on a Match.com date...

Abomination by Gary Whitta He is England's greatest knight, the man who saved the life of Alfred the Great and an entire kingdom from a Viking invasion. But when he is called back into service to combat a plague of monstrous beasts known as abominations, he meets a fate worse than death and is condemned to a life of anguish, solitude, and remorse. She is a fierce young warrior, raised among an elite order of knights. Driven by a dark secret from her past, she defies her controlling father and sets out on a dangerous quest to do what none before her ever have―hunt down and kill an abomination, alone. When a chance encounter sets these two against one another, an incredible twist of fate will lead them toward a salvation they never thought possible―and prove that the power of love, mercy, and forgiveness can shine a hopeful light even in history’s darkest age.

The Battle for Oz by Jeyna Grace When a foreign queen invades Oz and steals its citizens’ magic, the land turns to someone who has aided them before: Dorothy. But the silver-slippered girl has grown up, and in her years away from Oz the game has changed. So, in order to defeat this new and unfamiliar enemy, Dorothy seeks the aid of Alice, a legendary woman who once famously defeated a queen.