http://www.unshelved.com/UnshelvedA comic about a library2016-08-29T21:43:50-07:00Gene Ambaumgene@overduemedia.comBill Barnesbill@overduemedia.com(c) Overdue Media LLChttp://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-29/Pengin_Random_House_Library_Awards_for_InnovationPenguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation2016-08-29T00:00:00+00:002016-08-29T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Prhawards2

The Penguin Random House Foundation offers grants to libraries, teachers, and young authors who embrace innovation and diversity to create a nurturing, transformative community of readers and writers. Their Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation were created to honor extraordinary library services and programs. One $10,000 grant will be awarded, as well as four $1,000 grants. For details, guidelines, and applications, please click through to visit the Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation site.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-29Unshelved on Monday, August 29, 20162016-08-29T00:00:00+00:002016-08-29T00:00:00+00:00
The Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation honor extraordinary library programs and services. Click through for guidelines and applications.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/29/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-28Unshelved on Sunday, August 28, 20162016-08-28T00:00:00+00:002016-08-28T00:00:00+00:00
Get the exclusive Unshelved card catalog USB drive! Available blank or preloaded with all 11 Unshelved ebooks.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/28/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 8, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-27Unshelved on Saturday, August 27, 20162016-08-27T00:00:00+00:002016-08-27T00:00:00+00:00
Get the exclusive Unshelved card catalog USB drive! Available blank or preloaded with all 11 Unshelved ebooks.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/27/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 7, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-26/Book_ReviewsBook Reviews2016-08-26T00:00:00+00:002016-08-26T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Bookclubvertical

This week's Unshelved Book Club features books about a shark-obsessed six-year-old, a young boy mourning his sister, one-skein crochet projects, an ambitious student who sits next to a boy who is always creatively misbehaving (but who never gets caught), and a YA science fiction retelling of Moby Dick set on an alien world.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-26Unshelved on Friday, August 26, 20162016-08-26T00:00:00+00:002016-08-26T00:00:00+00:00
Watch the Suicide Squad book trailer and go behind the scenes with the worst heroes ever.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/26/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/bookclub/2016-8-26Unshelved Book Club on Friday, August 26, 20162016-08-26T00:00:00+00:002016-08-26T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.


Amazon | Powell's
Adulthood is a Myth: A "Sarah's Scribbles" Collection by Sarah Andersen
Andrews McMeel, 2016. 9781449474195. 112 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by sarahhunt tagged comic stripshumor

Unshelved comic strip for 8/26/2016

Amazon | Powell's
The Beast of Cretacea by Todd Strasser
Candlewick, 2015. 9780763669010. 432 pages.

Link to this review by diane tagged science fiction

Ishmael signed on as crew of the fishing ship Pequod hoping to earn enough money to buy his family’s way off the dying Earth. When he awakens from deep stasis, he finds himself on a planet with blue skies and more water than he’s ever seen. His team, including Queequeg and two others, are assigned to a chase boat, one of many that assist in catching terrafin, a sea creature processed into food for laborers on Earth. But the Pequod’s real quest is to find the giant white terrafin that destroyed the Captain’s previous ship.

Why I picked it up: Todd Strasser is one of my favorite YA authors. His books span a wide variety of genres, and I’ve always found them captivating. When I realized he had taken on a sci-fi version of Moby Dick, I was totally hooked.

Why I finished it: Ishmael and his friends find themselves in one life-threatening circumstance after another, from storms and shipwrecks to pirates and man-eating sea creatures. When the novelty of reading a retelling of Melville’s classic wore off, it was still a cleverly written sci-fi adventure filled with sympathetic characters, fanciful island locales, and heart-stopping action on the high seas.

It’s perfect for: My son, Matt, who is a huge science fiction fan and loves classic literature. He will appreciate the comic relief Strasser injects into the most stressful situations -- even the pirates are funny.

Darling Days A Memoir by iO Tillett Wright
Ecco, 2016. 9780062368201.

Unfolding in animated, crystalline prose, an emotionally raw, devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman’s extraordinary coming of age—a tale of gender and identity, freedom and addiction, rebellion and survival in the 1980s and 1990s, when punk, poverty, heroin, and art collided in the urban bohemia of New York’s Lower East Side

Born into the beautiful bedlam of downtown New York in the eighties, iO Tillett Wright came of age at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. This was a world of self-invented characters, glamorous superstars, and strung-out sufferers, ground zero of drag and performance art. Still, no personality was more vibrant and formidable than iO’s mother’s. Rhonna, a showgirl and young widow, was a mercurial, erratic glamazon. She was iO’s fiercest defender and only authority in a world with few boundaries and even fewer indicators of normal life. At the center of Darling Days is the remarkable relationship between a fiery kid and a domineering ma—a bond defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice; by heartbreaking deprivation, agonizing rupture, and, ultimately, forgiveness.

Darling Days is also a provocative examination of culture and identity, of the instincts that shape us and the norms that deform us, and of the courage and resilience it takes to listen closely to your deepest self. When a group of boys refuse to let six-year-old, female-born iO play ball, iO instantly adopts a new persona, becoming a boy named Ricky—a choice iO’s parents support and celebrate. It is the start of a profound exploration of gender and identity through the tenderest years, and the beginning of a life invented and reinvented at every step. Alternating between the harrowing and the hilarious, Darling Days is the candid, tough, and stirring memoir of a young person in search of an authentic self as family and home life devolve into chaos.

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Amazon | Powell's
Everything Is Teeth by Evie Wyld, Joe Sumner
Pantheon, 2016. 9781101870815. 128 pages.

Link to this review by geneambaum tagged biographycoming of agegraphic novel

A graphic novel memoir about shark-obsessed, six-year-old Evie Wyld. On a family farm in Australia, she finds a gruesome book about the shark attack on Rodney Fox. Back home in England, she makes up stories about sharks eating her schoolmates. When her brother gets beat up, she tells him shark stories. Water, including baths, scares her, and she imagines her sofa is a raft in shark-filled waters. After she watches Jaws, she sees them everywhere.

Why I picked it up: The cover is striking, with a little girl standing in the middle of an enormous shark’s mouth. 

Why I finished it: When I was about eight, I remember being afraid to go into my aunt’s swimming pool after thinking a bit too much about sharks, and this brought it all back. (I think this was before I saw Jaws -- I was the victim of an overactive imagination, some National Geographic books on animals, and a dozen Jacques Cousteau specials.) And I love Sumner’s art -- it’s mostly stark black inks with a little stippling and a few thin lines here and there to give the images depth, and it’s an amazing display of his skill as an illustrator. All of the sharks are photoshopped images of real animals, which works because it lets us see how Evie views them -- they stand out from the rest of the world; they are its focal points.

Readalikes: If you know kids who are into sharks but too young for the anxiety-producing Shark Week, read them The Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson, a colorful graphic novel about a young woman who falls in love with a shark.

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter
William Morrow, 2016. 9780062430212.

Husbands and wives. Mothers and daughters. The past and the future.
Secrets bind them. And secrets can destroy them.

The author of Pretty Girls returns with an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges its fascinating protagonist into the darkest depths of a mystery that just might destroy him.

With the discovery of a murder at an abandoned construction site, Will Trent of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is brought in on a case that becomes much more dangerous when the dead man is identified as an ex-cop.

Studying the body, Sara Linton—the GBI’s newest medical examiner and Will’s lover—realizes that the extensive blood loss didn't belong to the corpse. Sure enough, bloody footprints leading away from the scene indicate there is another victim—a woman—who has vanished . . . and who will die soon if she isn’t found.

Will is already compromised, because the site belongs to the city’s most popular citizen: a wealthy, powerful, and politically connected athlete protected by the world’s most expensive lawyers—a man who’s already gotten away with rape, despite Will’s exhaustive efforts to put him away.

But the worst is yet to come. Evidence soon links Will’s troubled past to the case . . . and the consequences will tear through his life with the force of a tornado, wreaking havoc for Will and everyone around him, including his colleagues, family, friends—and even the suspects he pursues.

Relentlessly suspenseful and furiously paced, peopled with conflicted, fallible characters who leap from the page, The Kept Woman is a seamless blend of twisty police procedural and ingenious psychological thriller -- a searing, unforgettable novel of love, loss, and redemption.

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Amazon | Powell's
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2016. 9781442395008.

Link to this review by dawnrutherford tagged audiobookcoming of age

Quinn and Annabeth were going to be the next great Hollywood sibling team. Watch out Coen brothers and Wachowskis, Q&A Productions is on the rise! Or it would have been, if Annabeth hadn't died in a fiery car crash. For six months Quinn has been hiding out in his room, living on pizza and misery. He hasn't taken a call (he doesn't even know where his phone is) or gone out. He even skipped his sister's memorial.

His best friend can't take it any longer, and finally drags him out of the house and back into life.

Why I picked it up: Two of my top favorite audiobooks of the last few years were Tim Federle's Better Nate That Ever and Five, Six, Seven, Nate! Not only did he do an amazing job of writing a tween boy who hadn't quite admitted to himself that he was gay, he narrated Nate with all the wonder and vulnerability a thirteen-year-old Broadway wannabe needs. I got to meet Tim at the Odyssey Award ceremony and found him to be as genuine and likable as his books. (And as chair, I got to hand him his honor award! fan girl SQUEAL)

Why I finished it: At first I was a little worried I wouldn't hear Quinn as his own character, since it was clear Tim had put so much of himself into Nate. I thought this might be more of the same. But soon I found myself loving this sad, guilt-ridden, lonely gay teenage boy for himself. It was painful to see him suffering as he finally starts to cope with his sister being gone, and hard to see him stumble through the self-obsession which made me want to cheer him on to better times.

Readalikes: What is so hard to capture about The Great American Whatever is that, despite the serious topics it tackles, it is a funny book. Quinn is a constant source of snarky one-liners, random movie trivia, and odd screenplay ideas. This makes it a great match for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews which is about teens obsessed with movie making who are dealing hilariously with mortality.


Amazon | Powell's
Crochet One-Skein Wonders: 101 Projects From Crocheters Around the World by Judith Durant, Edie Eckman
Storey Publishing, 2013. 9781612120423. 288 pages.

Link to this review by sarahhunt tagged nonfiction

Instructions for how to make scarves, hats, pillow covers, stuffed toys, bracelets, and more using only one skein of yarn each, complete with photos and diagrams.

Why I picked it up: The projects all looked like things I would enjoy having around the house -- no ugly clothes or useless objects.

Why I finished it: When I made the market tote bag, it took a few tries to get the beginning right. The finished project was beautifully engineered and had gorgeous stitch patterns. It was worth paying extra attention to the process.

It’s perfect for: Anne, an experienced crocheter who has tons of single skeins of yarn left over from making things. She’ll love the challenge of the complex patterns, and the fact that the projects are helpfully arranged by the weight of the yarn needed.


Amazon | Powell's

Amazon | Powell's
My Neighbor Seki Volume 1 by Takuma Morishige, Yoshito Hinton
Vertical, 2015. 9781939130969. 176 pages.My Neighbor Seki Volume 2 by Takuma Morishige, Yoshito Hinton
Vertical, 2015. 9781939130976. 176 pages.

Link to this review by sarahevans tagged coming of agegraphic novel

Poor Yokoi. She just wants to pay attention to the teacher and take copious notes during class. How can she when she sits next to Seki? He’s always busy with remarkable creative pursuits. After he sets up his erasers like dominoes (as they finish falling, a firework ignites), she has to scold him. When he creates a tower with all the black chess pieces and uses it to literally crush the white ones, she feels duty bound to flick a fallen pawn back onto his desk to topple the tower. Seki is the trouble maker, so why is Yokoi the only one getting reprimanded by their teachers?

Why I picked it up: My family enjoyed the anime version on Crunchyroll, but my son Noah assured me the original manga was even better.

Why I finished it: Noah was right. Even though Seki never speaks, his wild imagination and range of emotions are clear. Like Yokoi, I find Seki’s ever more elaborate activities irresistible, and can’t wait to find out what new crazy thing he’ll do next. A boy who can create and operate a miniature postal system (30mm by 40mm envelopes only, please) complete with an original postmark, tiny delivery bags and mailboxes, all under the nose of an oblivious teacher, is my kind of kid.

It’s perfect for: My old schoolmate Tammy. Like Yokoi, she had to know what other kids (especially boys) were up to. I think she’d sympathize with Yokoi when she tells her friend Goto, “And it just keeps escalating, so I forget to stop him… And I end up charmed by it even though I should know better…”

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-25Unshelved on Thursday, August 25, 20162016-08-25T00:00:00+00:002016-08-25T00:00:00+00:00
Watch the Suicide Squad book trailer and go behind the scenes with the worst heroes ever.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/25/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-24/Unhinged_MindsUnhinged Minds2016-08-24T00:00:00+00:002016-08-24T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Unhinged

Today we'd like to introduce you to a new sponsor, Unhinged Minds Designs. A self-professed bunch of "geeks, nerds, and bibliophiles," they are focused on creating merchandise for like-minded people—which pretty much sums up the Unshelved audience! Please go take a peek at their designs and give them a warm welcome.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-24Unshelved on Wednesday, August 24, 20162016-08-24T00:00:00+00:002016-08-24T00:00:00+00:00
Bibliophiles, geeks, and nerds rejoice! Unhinged Minds has a collection of shirts that get you. Explore them now.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/24/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-23Unshelved on Tuesday, August 23, 20162016-08-23T00:00:00+00:002016-08-23T00:00:00+00:00
The Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation honor extraordinary library programs and services. Click through for guidelines and applications.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/23/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-22Unshelved on Monday, August 22, 20162016-08-22T00:00:00+00:002016-08-22T00:00:00+00:00
The Penguin Random House Library Awards for Innovation honor extraordinary library programs and services. Click through for guidelines and applications.

Unshelved comic strip for 8/22/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-21Unshelved on Sunday, August 21, 20162016-08-21T00:00:00+00:002016-08-21T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/21/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 5, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-20Unshelved on Saturday, August 20, 20162016-08-20T00:00:00+00:002016-08-20T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/20/2016

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This classic Unshelved strip originally appeared on April 4, 2005.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-19/Book_Club_Book_ReviewsBook Club Book Reviews2016-08-19T00:00:00+00:002016-08-19T00:00:00+00:00
by Gene ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Bookclubvertical

This week's Unshelved Book Club features titles that would make for good book club discussions. They include books about machines that think, Andre Agassi, a young woman with an amazing culinary destiny, a terrorist's son, and a writer's open letter to his son about race in America.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-19Unshelved on Friday, August 19, 20162016-08-19T00:00:00+00:002016-08-19T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/19/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/bookclub/2016-8-19Unshelved Book Club on Friday, August 19, 20162016-08-19T00:00:00+00:002016-08-19T00:00:00+00:00

This week's book recommendations from the creators of Unshelved and their friends.Learn who we are, how we pick books, and other books we've featured.


Amazon | Powell's
The Financial Lives of the Poets by Jess Walter
HarperCollins, 2009. 9780061916045. 290 pages.

Link to this review in the form of a comic strip by sarahhunt tagged literary

Unshelved comic strip for 8/19/2016

Amazon | Powell's
What to Think About Machines That Think by John Brockman, various
HarperCollins, 2015. 9780062425652. 576 pages.

Link to this review by wally tagged essaysnonfiction

John Brockman, the publisher of the online science salon Edge.org, asked 186 of the world's leading thinkers, "What do you think about machines that think?" Their answers cover a lot of ground, and the essays are easy to digest, most being about two or three pages long. Some consider the old science fiction trope of an AI replacing humanity. Steven Pinker's essay "Thinking Does Not Imply Subjugating" declares that our fears are an emotional waste of time. John Markoff, in "Our Masters, Slaves, or Partners?" begins by noting Hegel's remark that in the relationship between master and slave, both are dehumanized, and that therefore we would do well to establish a morally correct relationship with our machines. George Church, in "What Do You Care What Other Machines Think?" declares that he is a machine that thinks, made of atoms, and so the question is a bit moot. Bruce Sterling, in "Actress Machines," points to all the entities like Siri (and to the power behind the curtain) and asks who is running these things?

Why I picked it up: Nearly 200 essays about the future of artificial intelligence was enough to get my interest, and a look at the list of contributors sealed the deal.  

Why I finished it: Compelling themes ran throughout the essays: as man vs. machine, definitions of intelligence, and definitions of consciousness. Plus the contributors are all stellar, including Steven Pinker, Freeman Dyson, Daniel C. Dennett, Esther Dyson, Gregory Benford, and many more.

It’s perfect for: Bennett, who loves those science fiction movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, in which artificial intelligence gets too smart for its own good (or at least for humanity's own good). He’d be relieved to see people like W. Daniel Hillis ("I think, therefore AI") parse the question of super-powerful computers into its fundamental nugget, arguing that since it's inevitable the machines will surpass us we must design them to include our values.

The Good Negress by A. J. Verdelle
Algonquin Books, 2016. 9781616205270.

A provocative debut that still rings true, twenty years after its original publication: This novel's themes of racial and gender inequality, as well as the power of language, resonate with the national conversation now more than ever.

Sometimes the greatest source of power is language, especially for the disadvantaged. The naming of names, the brandishing of labels, can unify or divide, create an us or a them. This enduring, often painful truth is at the heart of A. J. Verdelle’s wise, poignant debut.

Set in 1960s Detroit, the novel focuses on young Denise Palms, who moves to Detroit to reunite with her mother, new stepfather, and two older brothers. Raised mostly by her grandmother in rural Virginia, Denise’s role in Detroit is to cook, clean, go to school, and take care of her mother’s baby when it comes.

But an idealistic, demanding teacher opens Denise’s eyes to a future she’s never considered. When her two worlds begin to clash, Denise must decide if she will determine her own way forward.

Request a digital review copy from Edelweiss.

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Amazon | Powell's
Open: An Autobiography by Andre Agassi
Knopf, 2009. 9780307268198. 385 pages.

Link to this review by flemtastic tagged biography

Andre Agassi was a tennis prodigy from the first time he stood on a court. His overbearing father created a custom tennis-ball-shooting machine called "the dragon" that Andre hated practicing with, and moved the family to a house in the Las Vegas desert that had room for a tennis court. In fact his father pushed him so relentlessly that he sent Agassi away to a tennis academy in Florida at age thirteen, making his son feel lonely and cast aside. Despite the fact that Agassi said he hates tennis and always has, he excelled, turning professional at a very young age. With his wild hair and crazy clothing (denim shorts were his trademark for a while), he became a star, eventually winning twelve Grand Slams, including the Career Slam (at least one of each of the four tennis Majors). Throughout he struggled with his inner demons, self-doubt and an unhealthy need for perfection.  

Why I picked it up: I was telling the Varsity Tennis coach at a nearby high school about Federer and Me: A Story of Obsession, a book about a passionate fan of tennis player Roger Federer, and she said, "If you like that, you should read Open by Agassi, it will blow your mind." So I did.

Why I finished it: Agassi has the rare mental ability to remember what he was thinking and what he did physically at major points in his matches, going all the way back to his junior tournaments. His recall of Grand Slam events, regional qualifiers, and the granular level of his thoughts and actions during a single point make this book a must read for any tennis fan. 

What makes this a great read for anyone, tennis fan or not, is his brutal honesty. Admittedly nervous and an over-thinker, Agassi admits folding or doubting himself, that he did not believe he could beat his nemesis, Pete Sampras, in big matches. I was surprised at the level of intimacy, particularly when he admitted to using crystal meth with his personal assistant and failing a drug test on the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) tour. 

It’s perfect for: My friend Amy, who has struggled with her self-image after a tumultuous relationship with her own father. She would empathize with Agassi, who felt emotionally tortured by his, even at the peak of his success.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Amistad, 2016. 9780062359988.

Set in 1970s Brooklyn, the acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming delivers a searing tale of friendship, hopes, and the realities of an adulthood coming too soon.

Running into a long ago friend, sets memory in motion for August, a woman who once lived in a Brooklyn where friendship was everything—until it wasn’t anymore. For August and her girls, Brooklyn was a place where they believed as they walked the streets and confided in each other, that they were beautiful, talented, brilliant—a part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where men reached for them in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted their nights and mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away and fathers found hope in religion.

Like Carson McCuller’s The Member of a Wedding, Louise Merriweather’s Daddy Was A Number Runner, and Dorothy Allison’s Bastard Out of Carolina, Woodson heartbreakingly illuminates the formative time between childhood and becoming an adult—the promise and peril of growing up—and exquisitely renders a powerful, indelible and fleeting friendship that united four young lives.

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Amazon | Powell's
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Spiegel & Grau, 2015. 9780812993547. 176 pages.

Link to this review by emilyreads tagged nonfiction

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a nationally renowned author, journalist, and the recipient of a 2015 MacArthur Foundation "Genius Grant.” But when he's in public, he's just another black body, like millions before him, weighed down by prejudices, low expectations, and our shameful national history. In a country obsessed with the idea of race and an American Dream that seems accessible only to people who, in Coates’s words, believe they are white, Coates struggles to claim not only his own humanity, but also that of his teenage son (to whom he writes the book). ”Black people love their children with a kind of obsession,” he says. “You are all we have, and you come to us endangered." This is a slim, exacting, and crucial contribution to conversations about race, bias, and justice.

Why I picked it up: This National Book Award winner was one of the most talked-about books of 2015. I knew it would be a difficult and painful read, but a necessary one.

Why I finished it: My husband and I have friends from college, a highly educated black couple from Minnesota and Tennessee, with twin boys. Every page made me think of those boys -- they’re adorable, guileless toddlers whom I just watched shrieking with glee over soap bubbles floating in the air. Our white son will be able to do things, to go places, and to make mistakes as he grows in ways these boys never will -- at least not without considerable risk to their very lives. That’s insane, and it’s infuriating. I can’t take off my Invisible Knapsack of White Privilege, but I can do my best to listen to and amplify the voices that remain unheard.

It’s perfect for: I would give this book to every Presidential candidate. Then, instead of yet another dog-and-pony-show debate, let’s have a book discussion moderated by Coates, Gwen Ifill, and Condoleeza Rice. The focus: how are we going to fix this together?

Carry On A Story of Resilience, Redemption, and an Unlikely Family by Lisa Fenn
Harper Wave, 2016. 9780062427830.

In the spirit of The Blind Side and Friday Night Lights comes a tender and profoundly moving memoir about an ESPN producer’s unexpected relationship with two disabled African-American wrestlers from inner-city Cleveland, and how these bonds—blossoming, ultimately, into a most unorthodox family—would transform their lives.

When award-winning ESPN producer Lisa Fenn returned to her hometown for a story about two wrestlers at one of Cleveland’s toughest public high schools, she had no idea that the trip would change her life. Both young men were disadvantaged students with significant physical disabilities. Dartanyon Crockett, the team’s best wrestler, was legally blind as a result of Leber’s disease; Leroy Sutton lost both his legs at eleven, when he was run over by a train. Brought together by wrestling, they had developed a brother-like bond as they worked to overcome their disabilities.

In their time developing the segment together, Fenn formed a profound connection with Dartanyon and Leroy. After earning their trust and their love, she realized she couldn’t just walk away when filming ended. These boys had had to overcome the odds too many times. Instead, Fenn dedicated herself to ensuring their success long after the reporting wqs finished and the story aired—and an unlikely family of three was formed.

The years ahead would be fraught with complex challenges, but Fenn stayed with the boys every step of the way—teaching them essential life skills, helping them heal old wounds and traumatic pasts, and providing the first steady and consistent support system they’d ever had.

This powerful memoir is one of love, hope, faith, and strength—a story about an unusual family and the courage to carry on, even in the most extraordinary circumstances.

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Amazon | Powell's
Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal, Amy Ryan, Michael Stuhlbarg
Penguin Audio, 2015. 9781611764352.

Link to this review by dawnrutherford tagged audiobookliterary

Eva Thorvald grows up knowing that she loves food more than just about anything in the world, but has no idea that she is the daughter of a chef and a sommelier. Her mother, believing herself unfit to parent, ran off to Australia's wine country. Her father dedicated himself to lovingly developing her young (and unbeknownst to him, miraculous) palette, but died from a heart attack before Eva was old enough to remember him. Her well-meaning aunt and uncle adopted her as their own and never told her about her birth parents. Despite their denial and bland cooking, Eva will follow her palette to her culinary destiny.

Why I picked it up: I went to library school in Illinois and spent some time exploring the Midwest. It is a special region and a terrific place to eat.

Why I finished it: This book is a really outstanding piece of literature. Broken into eight food-titled sections, it zooms in and out of Eva's life from both her perspective and that of others who love or hate her. There is an air of mystery as the many secrets of Eva's life grow to legendary stature in both her psyche and the food world.

The audiobook emphasizes the characters’ rich voices as both Ryan and Stuhlbarg portray a variety of characters in dead-on Midwest accents.

Readalikes: Unlike Eva, Molly Wizenberg is not terribly secretive. She has been blogging her life at Orangette for years, sharing her cooking, love life, and restaurant development with thousands of strangers. Like Kitchens of the Great Midwest, her books A Homemade Life and Delancey are filled with recipes that are both evocative of place yet accessible to everyone.


Amazon | Powell's
The Terrorist's Son: A Story of Choice by Zak Ebrahim
Simon & Schuster Audio, 2014. B00MTUQQW0.

Link to this review by diane tagged audiobookbiography

When Zak Ebrahim was seven, his father, El-Sayyid Nosair, shot and killed the founder of the Jewish Defense League, Rabbi Meir Kahane. Later, from his prison cell, he helped plan the 1983 bombing of the World Trade Center. Despite being raised in a strict Muslim family that attempted to indoctrinate Ebrahim in the messages of hate espoused by his father and other male relatives, Ebrahim saw flaws in those teachings and has chosen instead to speak out against bigotry and for understanding.

Why I picked it up: With the rise of ISIS, I’ve been curious about the motivations of the terrorists -- why some make the choice to commit heinous crimes.

Why I finished it: Ebrahim reads his memoir, and his voice adds to the sincerity and emotional impact of the story. Because he was so young when his father became radicalized and shot the rabbi, it was easy for me to get caught up in the turmoil of his childhood. I teared up several times as he related how his family was forced into virtual homelessness, how he suffered at the hands of bullies at school, and how his stepfather abused him and his mother. I also laughed at his stories of his job at Busch Gardens and the way he was influenced by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show. He really is a gifted, motivational writer and speaker. When I finished the audiobook, I watched his TED talk, which led to his writing this book.

It’s perfect for: My colleague, Brett, who teaches a senior level class in Contemporary World Issues. Since Ebrahim’s survival is the story here, his realization that he could make the choice to be different and live without hate is ultimately uplifting and inspiring. It’s a perfect book and video for Brett to share with his students as they try to understand recent events.

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-18Unshelved on Thursday, August 18, 20162016-08-18T00:00:00+00:002016-08-18T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/18/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-17/Lucy_and_Andy_NeanderthalLucy & Andy Neanderthal2016-08-17T00:00:00+00:002016-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
by Ang ( link to this post | email me | my twitter )

Neanderthal

This week's sponsor is Random House Children's Books. Later this month they are releasing Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, the first book in a delightful new graphic novel series from bestselling author Jeffrey Brown. This middle grade title deftly balances an entertaining and giggle-inducing storyline with scientific and historical content. Click through for a look inside!

http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-17Unshelved on Wednesday, August 17, 20162016-08-17T00:00:00+00:002016-08-17T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/17/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-16Unshelved on Tuesday, August 16, 20162016-08-16T00:00:00+00:002016-08-16T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/16/2016

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http://www.unshelved.com/2016-8-15Unshelved on Monday, August 15, 20162016-08-15T00:00:00+00:002016-08-15T00:00:00+00:00
Meet Lucy & Andy Neanderthal, two regular kids from the Stone Age. From Jeffrey Brown, bestselling author of the Jedi Academy books, this new graphic novel series is both hysterical and historical!

Unshelved comic strip for 8/15/2016

link to this strip | tweet this | share on facebook | email us