Saturday, September 20, 2014

New & Upcoming Books to Get on Your Radar

I've noted several different books that have caught my eye in the past couple of months and wanted to make sure you all saw them too. Here's the run down, with some jacket copy descriptions:

Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates, the Backbone of Life by Susan Middleton. "This collection of more than 250 remarkable images is the result of seven years of painstaking fieldwork across the Pacific Ocean, using photographic techniques that Middleton developed to capture these extremely fragile creatures on camera. She also provides short essays that examine the place these invertebrates occupy on the tree of life, their vast array of forms, and their lives in the ocean. Scientist Bernadette Holthuis contributes profiles describing each species, many of them for the first time. Middleton’s book is a stunning new view of nature that harmoniously combines art and science."

The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters. "Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout."

Marx by Corrine Maier illustrated by Anne Simon (graphic novel). "Of the great political philosophers, few have had as profound and enduring an impact as Karl Marx. In this graphic biography by the creative super-team that brought us Freud, Maier and Simon provide a beautifully witty introduction to the works, actions and philosophy of this great polymathic thinker, a man whose canon of work remains just as relevant today. Marx is the second in Corinne Maier and Anne Simon’s collection of graphic novels exploring the lives of the most controversial and outspoken figures in modern history."

The Son of Someone Famous by M.E. Kerr. "Though to Brenda Belle Blossom’s mother he is just “that boy . . . tying those beer cans to the Christmas tree,” sixteen-year-old Adam is really the son of a famous movie star who hobnobs with royalty while jetting all over the world. Smarty Brenda Belle Blossom, horrified by fuzz on her upper lip, cracks jokes to avoid the bummer of her teeny Vermont hamlet and ladylike mother. When Adam is expelled from his last boarding school, he washes up in Vermont to stay with his irascible, alcoholic grandfather, and meets Belle at the drug store. Soon they are going steady, calling each other “darling,” and dedicated to helping other misfits achieve “Nothing Power”—until Brenda realizes there’s more to the “ordinary” Adam than it seems."

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by David Barnett. "Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.

Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon—a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.

Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne’s trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies – to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper."

X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz with Kekla Magoon (due January 2015). "Malcolm Little's parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that's a pack of lies—after all, his father's been murdered, his mother's been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There's no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm's efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous teritory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he's found is only an illusion—and that he can't run forever. X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today." X is being released for the 50 anniversary of Malcolm X's death.

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