Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Summer of Zika

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

9780393609141_bd793On Fresh Air yesterday, host Terry Gross held a 30-minute conversation about Zika with Donald G. McNeil, a science reporter for The New York Times and author of the new book,  Zika: The Emerging Epidemic (Norton; Random House Audio).

The two talk about how Zika is transmitted, its odd scale of danger, the Olympics, and the timeline for a vaccine.

McNeil says Zika is a mild infection in 99.99 percent of the cases. Only women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant are at risk and the infection carries grave danger in those cases. This year is excepted to be the worst for infections as no one in the US has yet developed antibodies.

McNeil says that the scientific community is split on cancelling the Olympics due to Zika, pointing out that August is actually a low season for the insects.

The best way to prevent bites while sitting outside is simply to have fans blowing, says McNeil, The bugs have to expend a great deal of energy to fly and fans make it even more difficult for them.

The interview makes clear why this is likely to be one of the summer’s major topic of conversation.

O Magazine’s Summer Reading List

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

As far as ambitious seasonal reading goes, O Magazine takes the cake thus far, offering 60 titles. A list that long is bound to include many the others have not, as well as expected titles, such as The Girls, Modern Lovers, Homegoing, and Before the Fall.

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Among the dozen unique fiction selections is Dating Tips for the Unemployed, Iris Smyles (HMH/Mariner; OverDrive Sample) gets the nod with the comment that the mix of novel and autobiography is “A flat-out joy to read.”

Hot Little Hands, Abigail Ulman (PRH/Spiegel & Grau; RH Audio; OverDrive Sample). The magazine calls this debut collection of short stories “sardonic, smart, and thoroughly modern.”

Native Believer, Ali Eteraz (Consortium/Akashic Books; OverDrive Sample) tells the story of a modern secular Muslim living in the age of terrorism. O calls it a “wickedly funny Philadelphia picaresque.”

The Noise of Time, Julian Barnes (PRH/Knopf; OverDrive Sample). This fictional account of the real life Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich imagines a creative life living under the eyes of Stalin. O says it is “exquisite.”

The Sport of Kings, C.E. Morgan (Macmillan/FSG; Macmillan Audio; OverDrive Sample). Horse racing and the aftershocks of slavery intertwine in this “sprawling, magisterial Southern Gothic for the 21st century.”

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In nonfiction new choices include two titles addressing past decades and several books spanning history and modern times:

Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost Its Mind and Found Its Soul by Clara Bingham (PRH/RH; OverDrive Sample) provides “A gripping oral history of the centrifugal social forces tearing America apart at the end of the ’60s,” while Never a Dull Moment: 1971 The Year That Rock Exploded, David Hepworth (Macmillan/Henry Holt; OverDrive Sample) offers “A revelatory account of the bombshell 365 days that gave birth to … the music that made us.”

The Cook Up,by D. Watkins (Hachette/Grand Central; Hachette Audio; OverDrive Sample), a tale of family and drugs, O calls this “An East Baltimore bildungsroman memoir about hope, hustle, and getting out while you can.”

How the Post Office Created America: A History, Winifred Gallagher (PRH/Penguin) details the early history of mail service. O promises that, as unlikely as it sounds, the book is “invigorating.”

The full list of titles is available online.

See our catalog for a running list of all summer picks. Links to each of the summer previews can be found in the column to the right.

VINEGAR GIRL Tops
June LibraryReads List

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

The fourth in the Hogarth series of modern re-tellings of Shakespeare tops the June LibraryReads list of the ten books librarians love, announced today.

9780804141260_86189LibraryReads FavoriteCatherine Coyne, of Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA explains how Anne Tyler interprets the Bard in Vinegar Girl (PRH/Hogarth; RH Audio; BOT):

“The newest entry in the Hogarth Shakespeare series brings The Taming of the Shrew into the modern world. Kate is stuck in a life taking care of her absent minded professor father and her sister, Bunny. When her father suggests a marriage of convenience in order to secure a green card for his lab assistant Pyotr, Kate is shocked. This is a sweet and humorous story about two people, who don’t quite fit in, finding each other. Tyler’s wonderful writing updates and improves on the original.”

Scroll down on this page to see the chart of what comes next and note Jo Nesbø takes on Macbeth in 2017.

9781101988640_11286The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (PRH/Roc) marks the first in a series of Fantasy titles featuring an undercover librarian. Beth Mills, of New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY introduces Cogman’s debut title:

“Directed by powerful librarians, agents roam alternate realities searching out special volumes for their mysterious library’s collections. Irene is a spy for the library but something is a little off about her current mission; there’s something strange about her new assistant that she can’t quite put her finger on and worse, the requested volume has already been stolen. Cogman’s engaging characters and a most intriguing imagined world are sure to delight readers, especially bibliophiles.”

Keep an eye out for the next two books in the series, both due out before December and be sure to join our upcoming chat with the author on June 1.

9781101947135_24878Another debut to watch is Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi (PRH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT), the subject of a ten-publisher bidding war.

Amanda Monson, of Bartow County Library System, Cartersville, GA says:

“An engaging family saga following two half-sisters – one who marries into privilege and one sold into slavery – and their descendants as they navigate the politics of their separate countries and their heritage. Each is directly affected in some way by the choices of the past, and finding the parallels in the triumphs and heartbreak makes for an engrossing read.”

9780316228046_0fcdbThe next in the Checquy Files series makes the list as well. Mary Bell, of Wilbraham Public Library, Wilbraham, MA writes this about Stiletto, Daniel O’Malley (Hachette/Little, Brown; Hachette Audio; Blackstone Audio):

“In the long-awaited sequel to The Rook, negotiations between two highly secret organizations, one based on science and reason and the other on the supernatural, are continuing. Odette and Pawn both come to the forefront of the story as we get more of the history of the groups and why mortal enemies would want to join forces. With its blend of intricate world-building and fantastical situations, Stiletto both surprised me and made me laugh.”

9780393245448_381d9In nonfiction, Mary Roach returns with Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War (Norton; Brilliance Audio). Darren Nelson, of Sno-Isle Libraries, Marysville, WA offers this recommendation:

“With courageous curiosity, journalistic persistence, and a wry empathetic sense of humor, Roach once again delves into a fascinating topic few of us would openly explore. She writes about the issues confronting the military in its attempt to protect and enable combat troops. Roach brings to our attention the amazing efforts of science to tackle all the challenges of modern warfare. Grunt is another triumph of sometimes uncomfortable but fascinating revelation.”

The full list of recommendations was posted today.