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3/27: New at the library this week

Posted by Laura Haskins - Library Director on March 27, 2011

Books

Blackout / Connie Willis
Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place, with scores of time-traveling historians being sent into the past. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser into letting her go to VE-Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, and dive-bombing Stukas—to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past. (read an excerpt)

All clear / Connie Willis
In Blackout, award-winning author Connie Willis returned to the time-traveling future of 2060—the setting for several of her most celebrated works—and sent three Oxford historians to World War II England: Michael Davies, intent on observing heroism during the Miracle of Dunkirk; Merope Ward, studying children evacuated from London; and Polly Churchill, posing as a shopgirl in the middle of the Blitz. But when the three become unexpectedly trapped in 1940, they struggle not only to find their way home but to survive as Hitler’s bombers attempt to pummel London into submission.
Now the situation has grown even more dire. Small discrepancies in the historical record seem to indicate that one or all of them have somehow affected the past, changing the outcome of the war. The belief that the past can be observed but never altered has always been a core belief of time-travel theory—but suddenly it seems that the theory is horribly, tragically wrong.
Meanwhile, in 2060 Oxford, the historians’ supervisor, Mr. Dunworthy, and seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who nurses a powerful crush on Polly, are engaged in a frantic and seemingly impossible struggle of their own—to find three missing needles in the haystack of history. (read an excerpt)

Emily the Strange: Dark times / Rob Reger
Emily’s uniquely strange homeschool syllabus includes:
1. Time Travel 101
2. Advanced Spy Photography
3. Bonnet Basics
4. Great Aunts Through the Ages
5. Intro to Germ Theory
6. Care and Feeding of ‘Squito Fish
7. Fundamentals of Black Rock
8. Spiderweb Embroidery
9. Historical & Contemporary Felines
10. Pop Quizzes
11. Foodstuffs of the 1780s
12. Thwarting Ancestral Enemies
13. Techniques in Parallel
(Emily the Strange Series #3; Age Range: Young Adult)

Russian winter / Daphne Kalotay
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.
It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston.
Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.

Angel / James Patterson
Evil scientists are still trying to convince Max that she needs to save the world, this time by providing the genetic link in speeding up the pace of evolution. Worse, they’re trying to convince her that her perfect mate is Dylan, the newest addition to the flock. The problem is that, despite herself, Max is starting to believe it.
Fang travels the country collecting his own gang of evolved humans, but the two separate flocks must unite to defeat a frightening doomsday cult whose motto is Save the Planet: Kill the Humans. And this time, the true heroine, for once, might just be little Angel. (Maximum Ride Series #7; Age Range: Young Adult)

Trapped / Michael Northrop
The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive….
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn’t seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision….(Age Range: Young Adult)

Prom and prejudice / Elizabeth Eulberg; Jane Austen
After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.
Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?
Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making? Whatever the result, Elizabeth Eulberg, author of The Lonely Hearts Club, has concocted a very funny, completely stylish delight for any season — prom or otherwise.

The Eskimo : the Inuit and Yupik people / Alice Osinski
The True Books series takes the young reader beyond the standard, fact-filled text by adding avenues for further discovery. Each book includes a variety of sidebars, highlighting extra facts that will fascinate children. In the Important Words section, young readers will find a glossary of words that will both challenge and expand their vocabulary. Each book includes a To Find Out More section, where every curious reader can find a list of related books to read and organizations to contact. (Age Range: 5 to 8)

Sevukakmet : ways of life on St. Lawrence Island / Helen Slwooko Carius
Describes the life of the people of St. Lawrence Island, located off the coast of Alaska, noting the mingling of Western ways with Eskimo tradition.

Shem Pete’s Alaska : the territory of the upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina / James M. Kari
Shem Pete (1896-1989), an Athabascan Native storyteller and historian from Susitna Station, Alaska, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena’ina world. This expanded edition of a book originally published in 1987 by the Alaska Native Language Center of the University of Alaska and The CIRI Foundation presents 973 named places in 16 drainage-based chapters. The names form a reconstructed place name network from the vantage points of the life experiences of Shem Pete and other Dena’ina and Ahtna speakers. Place names are annotated with comments and stories by Shem Pete and some 50 other contributors, and with historic references, vignettes, b&w personal and historical photos, and a selection of historic and place name maps.

Island in the sea of time / S. M. Stirling
The island of Nantucket and the U.S. Coast Guard training ship “Eagle” are thrown back in time to 1250 BC.
(read a sample chapter)

Live to tell / Lisa Gardner
On a warm summer night in one of Boston’s working-class neighborhoods, an unthinkable crime has been committed: Four members of a family have been brutally murdered. The father—and possible suspect—now lies clinging to life in the ICU. Murder-suicide? Or something worse? Veteran police detective D. D. Warren is certain of only one thing: There’s more to this case than meets the eye.
Danielle Burton is a survivor, a dedicated nurse whose passion is to help children at a locked-down pediatric psych ward. But she remains haunted by a family tragedy that shattered her life nearly twenty-five years ago. The dark anniversary is approaching, and when D. D. Warren and her partner show up at the facility, Danielle immediately realizes: It has started again.
A devoted mother, Victoria Oliver has a hard time remembering what normalcy is like. But she will do anything to ensure that her troubled son has some semblance of a childhood. She will love him no matter what. Nurture him. Keep him safe. Protect him. Even when the threat comes from within her own house. (Detective D. D. Warren Series #4; read an excerpt)

Little, big / John Crowley
The epic story of Smoky Barnable, an anonymous young man who travels by foot from the City to a place called Edgewood—not found on any map—to marry Daily Alice Drinkawater, as was prophesied. It is the story of four generations of a singular family, living in a house that is many houses on the magical border of an otherworld. It is a story of fantastic love and heartrending loss; of impossible things and unshakable destinies; and of the great Tale that envelops us all. (read an excerpt)

A dirty job / Christopher Moore
Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy, the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant. And Charlie’s been lucky. He’s married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy, and who is about to have their first child.
Yes, Charlie’s doing okay. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at his wife’s bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . .
People start dropping dead around him. It seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It’s a dirty job. But hey, somebody’s gotta do it. (read an excerpt)

The island of lost maps : a true story of cartographic crime / Miles Harvey
The story of a curious crime spree: the theft of scores of valuable centuries-old maps from some of the most prominent research libraries in the United States and Canada. The perpetrator was the Al Capone of cartography, a man with the unlikely name of Gilbert Bland, Jr., an enigmatic antiques dealer from south Florida whose cross-country slash-and-dash operation went virtually undetected until he was caught in December 1995.
This is also the spellbinding story of author Miles Harvey’s quest to understand America’s greatest map thief, a chameleon who changed careers and families without ever looking back. Gilbert Bland was a cipher, a blank slate—for Harvey, journalistic terra incognita. Filling in Bland’s life was like filling in a map, and grew from an investigation into an intellectual adventure.
Harvey listens to the fury of the librarians from whom Bland stole. He introduces us to America’s foremost map mogul, a millionaire maverick who predicted the boom in map collecting. He retraces Bland’s life, from his run-ins with the law to his troubled service in Vietnam. And finally, with the aid of an FBI agent, Harvey discovers the Island of Lost Maps. (read an excerpt)

The art of creative nonfiction : writing and selling the literature of reality / Lee Gutkind
A complete guide to the art and craft of creative nonfiction—from one of its pioneer practitioners
The challenge of creative nonfiction is to write the truth in a style that is as accurate and informative as reportage, yet as personal, provocative, and dramatic as fiction. In this one-of-a-kind guide, award-winning author, essayist, teacher, and editor Lee Gutkind gives you concise, pointed advice on every aspect of writing and selling your work, including:
Guidelines for choosing provocative—and salable—topics
Smart research techniques—including advice on conducting penetrating interviews and using electronic research tools
Tips for focusing and structuring a piece for maximum effectiveness
Advice on working successfully with editors and literary agents

Sky : a true story of resistance during World War II : illustrated with photographs, documents, and letters from the author’s collection / Hanneke Ippisch
From the moment she agreed to work for the underground Dutch resistance forces against the Nazis, Hanneke Eikema had only two goals–to protect the persecuted and not to get caught. But after two years Hanneke–though just a teenager–was discovered by the Germans and sentenced to life in prison. Now Henneke tells her story in a powerful narrative that vividly describes an era that is so haunting to us still.

Wizard’s first rule / Terry Goodkind
In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher’s forest sanctuary seeking help … and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.
In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword— to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed … or that their time has run out.
This is the beginning. One book. One Rule. Witness the birth of a legend. (Sword of Truth Series #1; read a sample chapter)

[Note: All synopses are provided by the publisher unless otherwise noted and do not constitute reviews by the Seldovia Public Library.]

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