Taking a Break

By - March 1st, 2017

Spring Break is almost here, and there’s no better time to check out a book! Get lost in a novel, or learn something new from a nonfiction title. Copies are available in the library or online through the OverDrive website and OverDrive app.

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

Delacorte Press 2015
Fiction Y7
Movie coming May 2017

“Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. She is content enough—until a boy with eyes the color of the Atlantic Ocean moves in next door. Their complicated romance begins over IM and grows through a wunderkammer of vignettes, illustrations, charts, and more.

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.” (Author’s website)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Nix, by Nathan Hill

Vintage 2016
Fiction H55
TV series in development

“It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn’t seen his mother Faye in decades—not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s re-appeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain: she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.

To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.” (Publisher’s website)

 

 

Scythe, by Neil Shusterman

Simon & Schuster 2016
Fiction Sh9

“Two teens must learn the “art of killing” in this Printz Honor–winning book, the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Scythe is the first novel of a thrilling new series by National Book Award–winning author Neal Shusterman in which Citra and Rowan learn that a perfect world comes only with a heavy price.” (Publisher’s website)

 

 

 

 

Atlas Obscura, by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thomas, and Ella Morton

Workman Publishing 2016
910.41 F68A

“…Talk about a bucket list: here are natural wonders—the dazzling glowworm caves in New Zealand, or a baobob tree in South Africa that’s so large it has a pub inside where 15 people can drink comfortably. Architectural marvels, including the M.C. Escher-like stepwells in India. Mind-boggling events, like the Baby Jumping Festival in Spain, where men dressed as devils literally vault over rows of squirming infants. Not to mention the Great Stalacpipe Organ in Virginia, Turkmenistan’s 40-year hole of fire called the Gates of Hell, a graveyard for decommissioned ships on the coast of Bangladesh, eccentric bone museums in Italy, or a weather-forecasting invention that was powered by leeches, still on display in Devon, England.

Created by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras and Ella Morton, ATLAS OBSCURA revels in the weird, the unexpected, the overlooked, the hidden and the mysterious. Every page expands our sense of how strange and marvelous the world really is. And with its compelling descriptions, hundreds of photographs, surprising charts, maps for every region of the world, it is a book to enter anywhere, and will be as appealing to the armchair traveler as the die-hard adventurer. Anyone can be a tourist. ATLAS OBSCURA is for the explorer.” (Amazon Description)

 

 

Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War, by Mary Roach

Norton 2016
355.07 R53G

“Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier’s most challenging adversaries―panic, exhaustion, heat, noise―and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.” (Amazon description)

 

 

Hidden Figures, by Margot Lee Shetterly

William Morrow Publishing 2016
510.92 SH5H
2016 Oscar-nominated movie

“Before John Glenn orbited the earth, or Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, a group of dedicated female mathematicians known as “human computers” used pencils, slide rules and adding machines to calculate the numbers that would launch rockets, and astronauts, into space.

Among these problem-solvers were a group of exceptionally talented African American women, some of the brightest minds of their generation. Originally relegated to teaching math in the South’s segregated public schools, they were called into service during the labor shortages of World War II, when America’s aeronautics industry was in dire need of anyone who had the right stuff. Suddenly, these overlooked math whizzes had a shot at jobs worthy of their skills, and they answered Uncle Sam’s call, moving to Hampton, Virginia and the fascinating, high-energy world of the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.

Even as Virginia’s Jim Crow laws required them to be segregated from their white counterparts, the women of Langley’s all-black “West Computing” group helped America achieve one of the things it desired most: a decisive victory over the Soviet Union in the Cold War, and complete domination of the heavens…” (Amazon description)

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Judging a Book by its Cover

By - February 24th, 2017

Here are some great new books that also happen to have great covers. These are all available at Ohrstrom Library on the New Books shelves in the Baker Reading Room. Come on over and check them out!

4321 : A Novel by Paul Auster
Henry Holt and Company, 2017
Call Number: Fiction Au7

“Nearly two weeks early, on March 3, 1947, in the maternity ward of Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, Archibald Isaac Ferguson, the one and only child of Rose and Stanley Ferguson, is born. From that single beginning, Ferguson’s life will take four simultaneous and independent fictional paths. Four identical Fergusons made of the same DNA, four boys who are the same boy, go on to lead four parallel and entirely different lives.” (Amazon description)

 

The Strays: A Novel by Emily Bitto
Twelve, 2017
Call Number: FictionB54

“A haunting evocation of life-changing friendship…THE STRAYS is a marvel of setting and characterization, re-creating a time of artistic revolution and personal revelation. Memorable and moving, this is a novel not to be missed.”― Booklist (starred review)

 

Forward: A Memoir by Abby Wambach
Dey Street Books, 2016
Call Number: Biog. W18W

“Forward is the powerful story of an athlete who has inspired girls all over the world to believe in themselves…Abby is deeply honest about her professional and life challenges – and she shows us by example how to overcome problems and live a happier, braver life.” (Sherly Sandberg, Facebook COO and New York Times bestselling author of Lean In)
“Abby Wambach has always pushed the limits of what is possible. At age seven she was put on the boys’ soccer team. At age thirty-five she would become the highest goal scorer—male or female—in the history of soccer, capturing the nation’s heart with her team’s 2015 World Cup Championship. Called an inspiration and “badass” by President Obama, Abby has become a fierce advocate for women’s rights and equal opportunity, pushing to translate the success of her team to the real world.
As she reveals in this searching memoir, Abby’s professional success often masked her inner struggle to reconcile the various parts of herself: ferocious competitor, daughter, leader, wife. With stunning candor, Abby shares her inspiring and often brutal journey from girl in Rochester, New York, to world-class athlete. Far more than a sports memoir, Forward is gripping tale of resilience and redemption—and a reminder that heroism is, above all, about embracing life’s challenges with fearlessness and heart.” (Amazon description)

 

99: Stories of the Game by Wayne Gretzky with Kirstie McLellan Day
Putnam’s Sons, 2016.
Call Number: 796.96 G86N

“ ‘The Great One’ weaves memories of his legendary career with an inside look at the sport of professional hockey, and the heroes and stories that inspired him.” (Amazon description)

 

Dear My Blank: Secret Letters Never Sent edited by Emily Trunko and illustrated by Lisa Congdon
Crown, 2016.
Call Number: 808.86 T77D

“From the popular Tumblr account of the same name comes a collection of heart-warming, tear-jerking, and gut-wrenching anonymous letters that people never intended to, or didn’t have the courage to send.
What first started as a Tumblr account with over 30,000 followers, is now a carefully curated collection of 150 anonymous letters covering a range of topics from heartbreak, unrequited love, and loss, to inspiration, self-awareness, and gratitude. Featuring exclusive content not available on Tumblr, these unsent letters are addressed to secret crushes, lost loved ones, boyfriends, siblings, parents, grandparents, and many more.” (Publisher’s website)

Black History in Graphic Novels

By - February 10th, 2017

This month’s featured books explore cultural achievements and events in Black American history through a unique medium – the graphic novel. You can find our newly assembled graphic novel collection in the Baker Reading Room. Check out these notable stories this February and throughout the year.

 

Strange Fruit and Tales of the Talented Tenth series, by Joel Christian Gill

Fulcrum Publishing 2013, 2014, 2016

 

         

Strange Fruit is a collection of stories from early African American history that represent the oddity of success in the face of great adversity. Each of the nine illustrated chapters chronicles an exceptional African American. From the adventures of lawman Bass Reeves, to Henry “Box” Brown’s daring escape from slavery, to the tragedy on Malaga Island in Maine, these beautifully illustrated stories offer a refreshing look at remarkable African Americans. (Publisher’s website)

Author Joel Christian Gill further expands some of the biographies in Strange Fruit through his Tales of the Talented Tenth series, which spans two volumes so far: Volume 1 focuses on Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, while Volume 2 tells the story of the “Motorcycle Queen of Miami” Bessie Stringfield.

Gill is also a local! He lives in New Boston, NH, and teaches at the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester. You can listen to a 2015 NPR interview with Gill here.

 

 

March trilogy, by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Top Shelf Productions 2013, 2015, 2016

 

        

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole). March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement. (Publisher’s website)

 

 

Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow, by James Sturm and Rich Tommaso

Hyperion Book CH, 2007

 

Baseball Hall of Famer Leroy “Satchel” Paige (1905? – 1982) changed the face of the game in a career that spanned five decades.  Much has been written about this larger-than-life pitcher, but when it comes to Paige, fact does not easily separate from fiction.  He made a point of writing his own history…and then re-writing it.  A tall, lanky fireballer, he was arguably the Negro League’s hardest thrower, most entertaining storyteller and greatest gate attraction. Now the Center for Cartoon Studies turns a graphic novelist’s eye to Paige’s story.  Told from the point of view of a sharecropper, this compelling narrative follows Paige from game to game as he travels throughout the segregated South.

In stark prose and powerful graphics, author and artist share the story of a sports hero, role model, consummate showman, and era-defining American. (Amazon description)

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Best Books of 2016

By - Library Web Services / Archives Assistant January 23rd, 2017

 

Some of the best books of 2016 are on display in the lower level lobby – stop by for a browse and check them out!

View in Instagram ⇒

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New Poetry at Ohrstrom

By - January 20th, 2017

When the weather gets frosty, why not head to Ohrstrom and dive into our new and featured poetry books? These three titles will get you thinking about topics including…

 

The nature of language:

 

Archeophonics, by Peter Gizzi

Wesleyan University Press

811 G45A

Archeophonics is the first collection of new work from the poet Peter Gizzi in five years. Archeophonics, defined as the archeology of lost sound, is one way of understanding the role and the task of poetry: to recover the buried sounds and shapes of languages in the tradition of the art, and the multitude of private connections that lie undisclosed in one’s emotional memory. The book takes seriously the opening epigraph by the late great James Schuyler: “poetry, like music, is not just song.” It recognizes that the poem is not a decorative art object but a means of organizing the world, in the words of anthropologist Clifford Geertz, “into transient examples of shaped behavior.” Archeophonics is a series of discrete poems that are linked by repeated phrases and words, and its themes and nothing less than joy, outrage, loss, transhistorical thought, and day-to-day life. It is a private book of public and civic concerns.” (National Book Award website)

 

 

 

 

The language of conflict:

 

Look: Poems, by Solmaz Sharif 

Graywolf Press

811 SH229L

“Solmaz Sharif’s astonishing first book, Look, asks us to see the ongoing costs of war as the unbearable loss of human lives and also the insidious abuses against our everyday speech. In this virtuosic array of poems, lists, shards, and sequences, Sharif assembles her family’s and her own fragmented narratives in the aftermath of warfare. Those repercussions echo into the present day, in the grief for those killed in America’s invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in the discrimination endured at the checkpoints of daily encounter.
At the same time, these poems point to the ways violence is conducted against our language. Throughout this collection are words and phrases lifted from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms; in their seamless inclusion, Sharif exposes the devastating euphemisms deployed to sterilize the language, control its effects, and sway our collective resolve. But Sharif refuses to accept this terminology as given, and instead turns it back on its perpetrators. “Let it matter what we call a thing,” she writes. “Let me look at you.” (Author’s website)

 

 

 

The conflict of religion:

 

Scriptorium, by Melissa Range

Beacon Press

811 R16S

“The poems in Scriptorium are primarily concerned with questions of religious authority. The medieval scriptorium, the central image of the collection, stands for that authority but also for its subversion; it is both a place where religious ideas are codified in writing and a place where an individual scribe might, with a sly movement of the pen, express unorthodox religious thoughts and experiences. In addition to exploring the ways language is used, or abused, to claim religious authority, Scriptorium also addresses the authority of the vernacular in various time periods and places, particularly in the Appalachian slang of the author’s East Tennessee upbringing. Throughout Scriptorium, the historical mingles with the personal: poems about medieval art, theology, and verse share space with poems that chronicle personal struggles with faith and doubt.” (Publisher’s website)

 

 

 

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