boxers_saints

 

This week’s staff pick is a two volume graphic novel from award-winning author Gene Luen Yang.  Set in China during the Boxer Rebellion, Boxers & Saints details the history of both sides engaged in the conflict.  In volume 1 readers follow Little Bao as he recruits an army of Kung Fu trained Boxers to fight China’s “foreign devils”.  Volume 2 focuses on Four-Girl, a young girl unwanted by her family who finds solace in her new Christian faith.  A beautifully drawn, heartbreaking, yet humorous, unique take on an important historical event.

“China’s Boxer Rebellion is the unlikely backdrop for this graphic treatment of young villagers on the opposite sides of history. Bao wants to drive out the white devils that poison his country with opium and Christianity. Four-Girl is an unwanted daughter who finds purpose in the missionary life. Their stories collide in a moment of grace that could only be penned by the Printz Award–winning author of American Born Chinese.” — Library Journal Reviews

 

walkwoods

To coincide with our current nonfiction gallery book display, this week’s staff pick is the hilarious travelogue A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson.  This is the story of what happens when two novices set out to hike the entire 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  Bryson, while always entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny, provides a rich history of the trail.   Read the book before the movie, starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, hits theaters in September!

“If nothing else, A Walk in the Woods is proof positive that the journey is the destination. As Bryson and Katz haul their out-of-shape, middle-aged butts over hill and dale, the reader is treated to both a very funny personal memoir and a delightful chronicle of the trail, the people who created it, and the places it passes through. Whether you plan to make a trip like this one yourself one day or only care to read about it, A Walk in the Woods is a great way to spend an afternoon.” — Taken from Amazon

 

station eleven

 

This week’s staff pick is a dystopian page turner. The story travels back and forth in time to a period before the “Georgian Flu”, a deadly virus that wipes out 99% of the population, and twenty years after the end of civilization.  Following several characters whose stories weave together in unexpected ways, the story touches on humanity, remembering the past and the importance of art and culture.  Our staffer recommended it as “science fiction for non-science fiction readers”.

A flight from Russia lands in middle America, its passengers carrying a virus that explodes “like a neutron bomb over the surface of the earth.” In a blink, the world as we know it collapses. “No more ballgames played under floodlights,” Emily St. John Mandel writes in this smart and sober homage to life’s smaller pleasures, brutally erased by an apocalypse. “No more trains running under the surface of cities … No more cities … No more Internet … No more avatars.” Survivors become scavengers, roaming the ravaged landscape or clustering in pocket settlements, some of them welcoming, some dangerous. What’s touching about the world of Station Eleven is its ode to what survived, in particular the music and plays performed for wasteland communities by a roving Shakespeare troupe, the Traveling Symphony, whose members form a wounded family of sorts. The story shifts deftly between the fraught post-apocalyptic world and, twenty years earlier, just before the apocalypse, the death of a famous actor, which has a rippling effect across the decades. It’s heartbreaking to watch the troupe strive for more than mere survival. At once terrible and tender, dark and hopeful, Station Eleven is a tragically beautiful novel that both mourns and mocks the things we cherish. –Taken from Amazon

 

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This week’s staff pick is an enchanting adult fairy tale this novel was made into the movie Stardust.  Utterly charming, this staff favorite is an adventure story like you haven’t seen before.  We also have the audiobook read by the author, and it’s top-notch.

“In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he’ll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.In the sleepy English countryside of decades past, there is a town that has stood on a jut of granite for six hundred years. And immediately to the east stands a high stone wall, for which the village is named. Here in the town of Wall, Tristran Thorn has lost his heart to the hauntingly beautiful Victoria Forester. One crisp October night, as they watch, a star falls from the sky, and Victoria promises to marry Tristran if he’ll retrieve that star and bring it back for her. It is this promise that sends Tristran through the only gap in the wall, across the meadow, and into the most unforgettable adventure of his life.”–Taken from Amazon.com


Stardust (H)

Neil Gaiman

Published: Feb 01, 1999 by William Morrow
Find in the Library


9780062314321

Stardust Low Price CD

Neil Gaiman

Published: Sep 17, 2013 by HarperAudio
Find in the Library


 

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This week’s staff pick is the beginning of an excellent fantasy series.  Cover aside, our protagonist is Kate, a mercenary in a world gone topsy-turvy, and she’s funny, determined, and can kill you three times before you hit the floor.  A couple of our staffers love this series, since each volume really builds on the characters.  Magic Bites is the first in the series, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be hooked too if you like fantasy.   This is one we can’t recommend you try enough.  So much so, that the Amazon summary didn’t to it justice, so we gave you the author’s summary of the series too.

“New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews invites you to experience the first novel in the “intriguing world” (Locus) of Kate Daniels…

Kate Daniels is a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living cleaning up magical problems. But when Kate’s guardian is murdered, her quest for justice draws her into a power struggle between two strong factions within Atlanta’s magic circles. Pressured by both sides to find the killer, Kate realizes she’s way out of her league—but she wouldn’t want it any other way… “–Taken from Amazon.com

“The world has suffered a magic apocalypse. We pushed the technological progress too far, and now magic returned with a vengeance. It comes in waves, without warning, and vanishes as suddenly as it appears. When magic is up, planes drop out of the sky, cars stall, electricity dies. When magic is down, guns work and spells fail.

It’s a volatile, screwed-up world. Magic feeds on technology, gnawing down on skyscrappers until most of them topple and fall, leaving only skeletal husks behind. Monsters prowl the ruined streets, werebears and werehyenas stalk their prey; and the Masters of the Dead, necromancers driven by their thirst of knowledge and wealth, pilot blood-crazed vampires with their minds.

In this world lives Kate Daniels. Kate likes her sword a little too much and has a hard time controlling her mouth. The magic in her blood makes her a target, and she spent most of her life hiding in plain sight.  But sometimes even trained killers make friends and fall in love, and when the universe tries to kick them in the face, they kick back.” — Taken from author’s website


Magic Bites

Ilona Andrews

Published: Mar 27, 2007 by Ace
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