New Book Tuesday 8-26-19

Posted & filed under Blog.

For the whole list of links to check these books out, visit:
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A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

In this moving companion to the Caldecott Honor–winning They All Saw a Cat, Brendan Wenzel tells the story of a seemingly ordinary stone. But it isn’t just a stone—to the animals that use it, it’s a resting place, a kitchen, a safe haven…even an entire world. With stunning illustrations in cut paper, pencil, collage, and paint, and soothing rhythms that invite reading aloud, A Stone Sat Still is a gorgeous exploration of perspective, perception, sensory experience, color, size, function, and time, with an underlying environmental message that is timely and poignant. Once again Wenzel shows himself to be a master of the picture book form.

Spencer’s New Pet by Jessie Sima

From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a classic tale of a boy and his dog—except in this unique story, one of them is a balloon!

When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together.

There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon.

And that means No. Sharp. Objects.

No drooling dogs at the park. No prickly porcupines at the vet. And absolutely no pinning tails on any donkeys!

Spencer’s New Pet is a story of pure fun about a boy, his dog, and a friendship that endures life’s sharpest…and most unexpected twists.

Pumpkin Heads by Rainbow Rowell

In Pumpkinheads, beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Rainbow Rowell and Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks have teamed up to create this tender and hilarious story about two irresistible teens discovering what it means to leave behind a place—and a person—with no regrets.

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Hamlet (Campfire Graphic Novels Adapted by Malini Roy

A concise, highly enjoyable adaptation of the classic Shakespeare drama; one of more than 85 titles Campfire has published since their introduction to North America in 2010.

Once upon a time on a dark winter night, a ghost appears on the ramparts of Castle Elsinore in Denmark. It closely resembles the recently deceased king of Denmark. The guards see it first, and then the scholar Horatio confronts it. But it doesn’t speak to them. Impatient to know what the ghost’s appearance means, they summon Hamlet, the prince of Denmark. Hamlet has returned to Denmark to attend his father’s funeral. Yet, he finds himself also attending his mother Gertrude’s wedding to his uncle Claudius, who has inherited the throne. What will the ghost tell Hamlet? 
One of the most intense and intriguing tragedies of all time is built upon the answer to this question. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not just a story of a mad prince out to avenge his father’s death. It is also the story of the struggle of a nation against Fate. It is the story of human willpower battling the odds. It is not only the story of a man at war with the world around him, but also the story of a man in conflict with his own mind. It is the story of a time when something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

Gender and Our Brains by Gina Rippon

A breakthrough work in neuroscience and an incisive corrective to a long history of damaging pseudo-science, finally debunking the myth that there is a biological distinction between male and female brains.

For decades if not centuries, science has backed up society’s simple dictum that men and women are hardwired differently, that the world is divided by two different kinds of brains—male and female. However, new research in neuroimaging suggests that this is little more than “neurotrash.” 

In this powerfully argued work, acclaimed professor of neuroimaging, Gina Rippon, finally challenges this damaging myth by showing how the science community has engendered bias and stereotype by rewarding studies that show difference rather than sameness. Drawing on cutting edge research in neuroscience and psychology, Rippon presents the latest evidence which finally proves that brains are like mosaics comprised of both male and female components, and that they remain plastic, adapting throughout the course of a person’s life. Discernable gender identities, she asserts, are shaped by society where scientific misconceptions continue to be wielded and perpetuated to the detriment of our children, our own lives, and our culture.

The Dark Side by Danielle Steel

In her new novel, Danielle Steel tells a riveting story of the dark side of motherhood.

Zoe Morgan’s childhood was marked by her younger sister’s tragic illness, watching as her parents dedicated themselves completely to her final days and then divorced. As a young woman driven by these painful memories, Zoe sets the bar high for herself, studying hard and pursuing a career in the nonprofit world, where her deep compassion for disadvantaged children finds a focus.

When Zoe falls in love and has her own child, she is determined to be a perfect mother as well. But before long, old scars long dormant begin to pull Zoe to the edge of an abyss too terrifying to contemplate.

As Zoe is haunted by the ghosts of the past, her story will become a race against time and a tale of psychological suspense that no reader will soon forget.

The Optimist’s Telescope: Thinking Ahead in a Reckless Age by Bina Venkataraman

A trailblazing exploration of how we can plan better for the future: our own, our families’, and our society’s.

Instant gratification is the norm today—in our lives, our culture, our economy, and our politics. Many of us have forgotten (if we ever learned) how to make smart decisions for the long run. Whether it comes to our finances, our health, our communities, or our planet, it’s easy to avoid thinking ahead.

The consequences of this immediacy are stark: Superbugs spawned by the overuse of antibiotics endanger our health. Companies that fail to invest stagnate and fall behind. Hurricanes and wildfires turn deadly for communities that could have taken more precaution. Today more than ever, all of us need to know how we can make better long-term decisionsin our lives, businesses, and society. 

Bina Venkataraman sees the way forward. A former journalist and adviser in the Obama administration, she helped communities and businesses prepare for climate change, and she learned firsthand why people don’t think aheadand what can be done to change that. In The Optimist’s Telescope, she draws from stories she has reported around the world and new research in biology, psychology, and economics to explain how we can make decisions that benefit us over time. With examples from ancient Pompeii to modern-day Fukushima, she dispels the myth that human nature is impossibly reckless and highlights the surprising practices each of us can adopt in our own livesand the ones we must fight for as a society. The result is a book brimming with the ideas and insights all of us need in order to forge a better future.

The Girl Who Lived Twice by David Lagercrantz

The sixth Lisbeth Salander story–the crime-fiction phenomenon that has sold more than 90 million copies worldwide.

Lisbeth Salander–the fierce, unstoppable girl with the dragon tattoo–has disappeared. She’s sold her apartment in Stockholm. She’s gone silent electronically. She’s told no one where she is. And no one is aware that at long last she’s got her primal enemy, her twin sister, Camilla, squarely in her sights. 

Mikael Blomkvist is trying to reach Lisbeth. He needs her help unraveling the identity of a man who lived and died on the streets in Stockholm–a man who does not exist in any official records and whose garbled last words hinted at possible damaging knowledge of people in the highest echelons of government and industry. In his pocket was a crumpled piece of paper with Blomkvist’s phone number on it. 

Once again, Salander and Blomkvist will come to each other’s aid, moving in tandem toward the truths they each seek. In the end, it will be Blomkvist–in a moment of unimaginable self-sacrifice–who will make it possible for Lisbeth to face the most important battle of her life, and, finally, to put her past to rest.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel by Christy Lefteri

This unforgettable novel puts human faces on the Syrian war with the immigrant story of a beekeeper, his wife, and the triumph of spirit when the world becomes unrecognizable.

“Courageous and provocative, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a beautifully crafted novel of international significance that has the capacity to have us open our eyes and see.”—Heather Morris, author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz

Nuri is a beekeeper and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo—until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.

Nuri is sustained only by the knowledge that waiting for them is his cousin Mustafa, who has started an apiary in Yorkshire and is teaching fellow refugees beekeeping. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss but dangers that would overwhelm even the bravest souls. Above all, they must make the difficult journey back to each other, a path once so familiar yet rendered foreign by the heartache of displacement.

Moving, intimate, and beautifully written, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a book for our times: a novel that at once reminds us that the most peaceful and ordinary lives can be utterly upended in unimaginable ways and brings a journey in faraway lands close to home, never to be forgotten.

A Better Man: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny

Catastrophic spring flooding, blistering attacks in the media, and a mysterious disappearance greet Chief Inspector Armand Gamache as he returns to the Sûreté du Québec in the latest novel by #1 New York Times bestselling author Louise Penny.

It’s Gamache’s first day back as head of the homicide department, a job he temporarily shares with his previous second-in-command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir. Flood waters are rising across the province. In the middle of the turmoil a father approaches Gamache, pleading for help in finding his daughter.

As crisis piles upon crisis, Gamache tries to hold off the encroaching chaos, and realizes the search for Vivienne Godin should be abandoned. But with a daughter of his own, he finds himself developing a profound, and perhaps unwise, empathy for her distraught father.

Increasingly hounded by the question, how would you feel…, he resumes the search.

As the rivers rise, and the social media onslaught against Gamache becomes crueler, a body is discovered. And in the tumult, mistakes are made.

In the next novel in this “constantly surprising series that deepens and darkens as it evolves” (New York Times Book Review), Gamache must face a horrific possibility, and a burning question.